Local View: Use green architecture for greener Twin Ports

A video posted by B1M Limited, a construction, architectural, and engineering video channel — titled, “When Trees Meet Buildings” — describes how green plants on the outside walls and roofs of buildings cool the air inside and sequester greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere. The greenery also improves the mental health of the structures’ inhabitants.

Across the U.S., including in the Twin Ports, new and existing buildings have roofs covered in green plants.

The grass, bushes, and trees lower air temperatures up to 4.4 degrees Celsius compared to standard roof coverings, according to B1M, the world’s largest, most-subscribed-to video channel for construction. And if used by multiple buildings, green roofs can reduce air temperatures in their immediate surroundings by as much as 7 degrees Celsius.

In addition, outside balconies and terraces with trees, bushes, grass, and clinging vines benefit people, as plants are nature’s air filtration and air conditioner.

As an example of a green building, Bosco Verticale (“Vertical Forest”) in Milan, Italy, features two residential towers and has more plants per surface acre than an acre of mature forest.

These green plants also soften the psychological impact of living in modern cities. Hospital patients who have views of green spaces have faster recovery times. Plants also reduce stress amongst office workers, which in turn increases productivity.

One place where a green building could work in Duluth is the abandoned iron ore dock. It would make for nice, tree-covered apartments, with great views of Duluth’s harbor and with a linear public park on the top, similar to New York City’s High Line.

Getty Images / Abandoned ore docks in Duluth could be transformed with New York City's High Line, pictured here, as a model.

Getty Images / Abandoned ore docks in Duluth could be transformed with New York City’s High Line, pictured here, as a model.

By building dozens of truly green buildings, Duluth and Superior can and should become very attractive for current and future climate migrants. Also, imagine the many new employment positions for building gardeners to take care of dozens to hundreds of plants per building.

James Patrick Buchanan lives in Duluth.

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