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Greening the grey: 5 benefits of planting in urban cities


It’s part of our mission to get more people outside and green the grey in our cities and we know adding beautiful planters and softening an urban landscape are great ways to achieve this. They create colorful and welcoming spaces for communities that people want to spend time in and enjoy. Working on any upcoming schemes? Here are five reasons why you might want to consider greening the grey too!


Improved air quality

Did you know plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air? This is the process known as photosynthesis and as humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide plants do the opposite making the surrounding air quality better.Trees and plants also act as filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates by trapping the nasties in their leaves and bark. That’s why the more plants we have in our environment the better, they not only help us breathe better and cleaner air they form an essential part of our surrounding atmosphere.

Good for mental and physical health

Studies have proven that seeing and being close to plants helps reduce anxiety and stress levels in human beings. Many urban cities are largely dominated by high-rise tower blocks or apartments that don’t have any outside space, that can have a negative effect on adults and children including decreased concentration levels and increased psychological stress. Providing planters in such towns and cities helps bring people closer to nature, they create inviting greener spaces and people are more likely to leave their homes, go outside and exercise if there are attractive spaces filled with colorful plants to enjoy.

Sustainable communities

The fact is we all want to contribute to living in a more sustainable world, in cities there are a number of ways we can use plants to contribute to our sustainable development. Rooftop allotments are a great way of growing fruit and vegetables in a sustainable way, it has long term environmental benefits; saves money and is much more nutritious than shop bought produce. The community benefits are also greater as urban gardening connects the community together over common sustainable purposes.

Trees and plants play a vital part in creating sustainable communities; removing air pollution and protecting the natural environment in what would be an otherwise harmful atmosphere. It is known that people that live in areas that have embraced nature and increased planting actually have a longer life expectancy, and plants and trees also help to revalue the area where they've been planted.

Economical benefits

In towns and shopping centres the addition of simple landscaping and planters by businesses can be largely effective in attracting more customers and boosting sales. The addition of plants, flowers and shrubs help to cultivate a positive environment where people can thrive. Greenery can also provide economical benefits to property owners; investing in landscaping can potentially boost property values and attract a wealthier market. Planting can reinforce a sense of identity amongst neighbourhoods providing potential jobs or hobbies for the community. Initiatives like rooftop allotments are a great example of this - they encourage residents to get involved in their communities through allotment rentals all the while providing fresh produce for the locals.

Defining spaces & pedestrian movement

Planters, when used strategically, provide the ability to divide spaces and manage pedestrian movement to aid with meeting social distancing requirements; pathways can be clearly separated from other areas. They can also be used to hide unsightly areas, to act as subtle visual and physical access barriers, or simply to enhance dead space between commercial buildings and roads.


Furnitubes created AKRI retaining steel walls as a flexible solution to introduce planting to busy urban environments. AKRI, which is part of our modular solutions, is available in 2 thicknesses (3mm & 6mm) both with straight or curved panels, as well as choices of materials and finishes to suit different schemes and locations. It’s delivered pre-assembled with all brackets, fixings, and IKEA-like assembly instructions for super quick installation - Ideal for the roof-top, podium, and public space projects.

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