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September 18, 2010

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Home » Metro » Environment

Parking for cars ... and plants

THE city is going to be greener in future with plans to incorporate greenery in the construction of new multi-level parking lots.

The new parking lots will be covered by plants, like the gardens now seen on many buildings' rooftops.

It's an ideal way to increase the green coverage in the city where land is limited and to solve the shortage of parking spaces at the same time, city greenery authorities said yesterday.

Shanghai plans to build 18 stereo parking lots, which use lifts to take cars to different levels, covered with greenery next year.

Each will have an average of 200 spaces.

The city plans to have 1.5 million square meters of "vertical greenery," including 1 million square meters of rooftop gardens, within five years.

The city now has 900,000 square meters of vertical greenery, also called "three-dimensional greenery."

In the 1980s, a few business areas with garden roofs appeared, but not until 1998 did three-dimensional gardening really expand, with government help.

Experts said such greenery planning could reduce the amount of polluting particles in the air and lower indoor temperatures in summer by acting as insulation, in a way that many pavilions, such as the New Zealand Pavilion, did at the World Expo.

Li Zhengwu, chairman of the Shanghai Parking Service Association, said he was fond of the idea.

He proposed building parking lift systems with greenery planted so that parked cars can be stacked, thus saving land and providing more spaces.

At the end of last year, the city had about 500,000 public parking spots, a shortfall of about 700,000.

The table is unlikely to be turned soon as another 500,000 vehicles will likely hit the city's roads this year.


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