Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Turning the Eiffel Tower into a giant "green lung"

In case you missed this a few months back, there's been a flurry of news articles concerning a certain French landmark, the Eiffel Tower. No, it's not leaning like the famous Tower of Pisa and it isn't melting.
But this iconic French monument may undergo a transformation of epic proportions if the Ginger Group, an urban green engineering firm gets the ahem, "green light".

The firm proposes transforming the Eiffel Tower into a symbol of sustainabilty, covering it with over 600,000 plants in hemp bags, connected with rubber tubing for irrigation. The firm estimated the plants will absorb over 87.8 tons of CO2 and attract eco-tourism.

But at a whopping cost of $72 million Euros or $97 million US dollars- many detractors say the price tag, and aesthetic change to the Tower is simply a price too high to pay.

In it's defence, the Ginger Group claims the plants will be strategically placed in the Tower and will not detract from the magnificent view of Paris.

Built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel, the famous La dame de Fer (the Iron Lady) is the second tallest building in Paris and is easily one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, attracting over seven million visitors each year.

The proposal is not yet finalized; if it's accepted plants may be plugging into the latticed iron-clad historical ediface as early as summer 2013.

Tell us what you think! Modern day "green lung" or green folly?

photo credit WikiCommons


kmdubow said...

Well, I think it will make such a statement for France and the commitment to sustainable living they HAVE to do it!

Sarah Wooller said...

I don't think things have to be all or nothing. If I'm honest I think that taking an iconic landmark and changing it is just too hard - and would attract a load of negative press. Far better to take somewhere frankly awful and change that instead.

Garden Beet said...

how about using the money to grow vertical gardens a bit closer to ground level where it can really make an impact on urban living?