Madrid, the capital city of Spain, is planning to build a 75km ‘green wall’ made of around half a million trees. It is hoped the wall will help to combat air pollution in the city and combat climate change.
Once completed, Madrid's green wall will transform into a forest of indigenous trees, that will have the ability to absorb heat generated by human activity in the city, as well as combat the ‘heat island effect’, by absorbing up to 175,000 tons of CO2 per year.
The construction of this flourishing ‘green wall’ is forecast to decrease temperatures under the shade by up to 2 degrees, according to Mariano Fuentes, Madrid's councillor for the environment. This may help to provide some respite for animals during the summer months.
As part of the initiative, the government of Madrid is also restricting private car use in certain urban centres, creating ‘environmental corridors’ in every district, promoting cycling, the use of public transport, implementing sustainable sources of energy, and creating a green culture among its citizens.
Madrid's green wall will be unique in the sense that it will be preserved with a minimum effort so it can be sustainable over time, unlike with parks or green areas in most cities. With desertification being a growing issue in Spain, the government is prioritizing making its cities and urban areas more eco-friendly to better adapt to climate change.