Botanical highway barrier

Imagine driving down the 401, or any major highway in North America, and instead of graffiti covered concrete or wooden sound barriers, you see lush four-metre-high rows of willow shrubs. This “green” technology has been used in Germany for 20 years — the livingwall —and it is now in Canada.

Entrepreneur Tony Biglieri has been developing the technology and has received great review and support in Ontario and Quebec. They say the botanical barriers are easier to maintain and absorb sound, rather than bouncing it back like conventional walls. Each kilometre of willows, planted in two rows half a metre apart with a mound of soil in between, sequesters nearly seven tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Biglieri has been quoted as saying. “You need a tank to knock this thing down,” and “It never gets dirty. You can’t write on it. As it gets older, it just gets better.”

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