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Carr, Megan [1], Felson, Alexander [2].

Toward an industrial ethnobotany: Social dynamics of plant use in green infrastructure.

The growing popularity of green infrastructure is changing the dynamics of urban ecosystems. A developing research project seeks to explore what the implications of these changes mean within both ecological and social contexts. For this study, we will examine the green wall industry in particular, and use surveys and semi-structured interviews with green wall professionals to identify challenges to this developing industry as well as the environmental co-benefits provided by green walls. Variably termed living walls or vertical gardens, these structures are recognized for contributions to mitigation of urban heat island effect and the reduction of air and noise pollution in urban settings, and are currently being investigated for additional benefits such as storm water runoff mitigation and active heat rejection. Green walls provide an interesting case study, in that plants are used as elements of construction, and act simultaneously as functional and aesthetic elements while providing a sense of “nature” within urban ecosystems. Plant selection for green walls is made within a complex matrix of priorities and values, the interplay of which both shapes and is shaped by human actors within urban ecosystems.  


1 - Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect St., New Haven, Connecticut, 06511, USA
2 - Yale University, School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect St., New Haven, CT, 06511, USA

Keywords:
ethnobotany
green infrastructure
green walls
urban ecology
urban ethnobotany.

Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Number:
Abstract ID:65
Candidate for Awards:None