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Why is this Belgian tram covered in plants?

Words by Blyth Brentnall

Image: Victoriano Moreno

Residents of the Belgian city of Antwerp were greeted by a glorious sight getting on the tram last week. The walls, ceilings and window frames of the car on line 1 were covered in green foliage and free plants.

Wow. Why’s that?

The city council is leading a project called Neighbourhood in Bloom. It aims to inspire residents to get gardening in a massive push to transform Antwerp into a greener space.

The scheme offers free plants and living garlands to hang from buildings, trees and walls. It also offers financial support for residents to buy a water butt to collect rainwater for their gardens.

The project builds on the council’s success last year, when they encouraged residents to plant 200 facade gardens, 170 areas of trees and 100 garlands.

Across the city, the council has also lifted much of the pavement tiles to replace them with soil for shrubbery to grow. 

Greening the city in this way helps absorb carbon dioxide emissions, cleaning the air of pollution and lowering the temperature to cool residents during the increasingly hot summer weather.

Charity check-in 

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Climate Coalition. This is the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action against climate change. Find out more and support them here.

Climate Reframe.  Climate Reframe is committed to supporting the climate and environment movement in its transformation towards greater justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). Find out more.

The Canal & Rivers Trust. The Rivers Trust brings together conservation experts who work to create wild, healthy, natural rivers. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Climate Action.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs