Archive for May 2nd, 2012

May 2, 2012

The New Hanging Gardens of Beirut – Levi Shaw-Faber

New York’s Central Park gives the impression that it is a vast rectangle of land left untouched by city developers in order to keep nature thriving in the heart of the city. But, Central Park is anything but untouched. It was completely designed and fabricated and hundreds of city employees and volunteers tend to it. Many cities, though, do not benefit from the kind of planning and foresight that created Central Park. In Beirut, for example, only about three percent is parkland, compared to about fourteen percent of New York. And Beirut is too developed to demolish buildings to create parkland. In response to such situations, the people at Wonder Forest ( have come up with a new idea. For only about $3.5-4 million, the Lebanese government can plant 60,000 trees on 15,000 rooftops. This would result in a major change in the city as the small trees in large pots would not require the buildings to be retrofitted with new drainage systems. The real difficulty for the project is getting the citizens of Beirut involved in watering and caring for their trees. The people at Wonder Forest combat this claim by pointing out that gardeners could earn profits from their government-subsidized trees by selling the citrus and olives.Image