On Friday last week I had the privilege of launching the Urban Living Wall on the corner of High Street and Cashel Street in the Christchurch Central Business District. The Urban Living Wall project is a partnership between the Department of Conservation (DOC), Christchurch City Council, Fabriko (founders of the Fab Lab), and Auckland University of Technology.
The temporary wall is constructed of specially designed planter panels made from 3D-printed biodegradable plastic, felt and wood in which native plants will be grown. The wall is a contemporary geometric architectural structure designed to create a living and breathing ecosystem with depth, varied texture and profile, and an array of nooks and crannies just like you find in nature.
Twelve schools (Breens Intermediate, Casebrook Intermediate, Unlimited High School, Middleton Grange School, St Andrews College, Mairehau High, St Margarets College, Linwood College, Burnside High, Kaipoi High School, Ashburton College and Hobson Ville Point) were involved in the project and had the opportunity to learn about the exciting frontier of 3D printing through creating planter panels for the living wall.
The Urban Living Wall is a space for nature in the heart of the rebuild and a place to share the nature on our back doorstep. It speaks to the city's rebuild and to the opportunities ahead for Christchurch to create the environment we want at a grass roots level and through our own actions. It is a showcase of the innovative technology that can be used to create green spaces and public attractions.
The Urban Living Wall also provides inspiration and a fabulous opportunity for individuals and communities to get involved. The project sits within a series of ‘greening’ initiatives down High Street, where local businesses, DOC, the Council and the art community are working to create opportunities for nature within the rebuild. These greening initiatives help create a lush, liveable city, and improve the wellbeing of residents and visitors alike.