Innovation That Matters

An Urban Canopee project in Reims | Photo source Urban Canopee

Smart frames for growing plants in the city


A French company has developed a system that makes it easy to grow plants in urban environments

Spotted: French company, Urban Canopee, has a vision for making cities greener. The company has developed lightweight, adaptable and flexible frames, which serve as support for climbing plants — both in isolation or in groups — and to create a verdant canopy. The company hopes the easy-to-use frames will be used to grow plants on the roofs of buildings and other public spaces.

The canopies are more than just flexible pots. The frames contain sensors that measure the hydration levels of the plants and the temperature under the canopy, and they can be monitored remotely using an app. The system also includes a solar kit and a connected irrigation system, which provides water to the plants autonomously. The pots currently hold 200 litres of water, and the company is also exploring ways to collect rainwater. 

Urban Canopee has a number of test projects underway in France, and there has been interest in the system from locations across Canada, Australia and the US. The goal is to use the system to reduce the temperature and carbon levels in urban areas, by means of growing plants.

According to Urban Canopee, the project will not only help to combat the urban heat island but will also restore urban biodiversity and improve the quality of life for city residents. The founders were inspired to start the project following a major heatwave in 2016. The company states that “To reverse the temperature curve, we must also reverse that of mentalities.” 

As the world continues to heat up, finding new ways to reduce and counteract carbon and temperature levels is vital. Here at Springwise, we have seen other innovative solutions to this, such as a way to grow tomatoes on urban shrubs, and a living wall containing 400,000 plants.

Explore More: Sustainability Innovations



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