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When Nature Goes Vertical

A green façade has been installed on an El Corte Inglés department store in Valladolid (Spain). The intervention is part of the EU project URBAN GreenUP and makes Valladolid the first Spanish city with a vertical garden on a large shopping building.

Climate Change and Environment

Valladolid City Council and the El Corte Inglés retail have worked together to install a vertical garden on the department store in Calle Constitución, in the heart of the city’s historical centre. The garden was co-financed by the European Union and the City Council within the scope of the URBAN GreenUP project. The garden has a total surface area of over 350m2 and was designed by the URBAN GreenUP partner Singular Green. The green façade is set to improve air quality and citizens’ well-being, reduce the heat island effect, increase the attractiveness of the area and create new green jobs. The garden’s location next to Plaza Mayor will allow people to be aware of this type of innovative solution, thus encouraging its replication in other buildings and cities. The façade has more than 14,000 plants, with a density of 40 plants per square metre. A monitoring system based on telematic alerts ensures the circulation of water and nutrients. This maximises the use of resources and minimises the generation of waste, making the building more circular. Green façade / Vertical Garden The green façade in the historical centre of the city is one of the most outstanding actions of URBAN GreenUP in Valladolid. The centre does not lend itself to green spaces – building density is high, streets are narrow and historical heritage needs to be protected. Façades with vegetation or vertical gardens offer a pioneering alternative. However, they must provide a large continuous surface where gardens can be planted, support the garden’s weight and not be subject to protection measures that prevent their appearance to be modified. An example of public-private partnership with an investment of €270,000 The City Council issued a call to tender for the implementation of the vertical garden for an amount of €204,000, including €130,500 from the European Union. The contract was awarded to Tierra Ingeniería y Paisajismo SL, which was then in charge of the construction. El Corte Inglés covered the costs of the façade’s necessary structural refurbishments (approximately €60,000). Likewise, the company is also contractually responsible for the maintenance of the green façade. FURTHER INFORMATION URBAN GreenUP is a project funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 730426. It aims at developing Renaturing Urban Plans, which include actions focused on mitigating the effects and risks of climate change and improving the air quality and water management of cities through NBS. URBAN GreenUP is run by an international consortium of 25 partners from 9 countries, coordinated by the CARTIF Technology Centre. Activities will take place in the three demonstrator cities of Valladolid (Spain), Liverpool (UK) and Izmir (Turkey) and will be replicated across Europe, Latin America, and Asia.


air quality, well-being, green façade, vertical garden