Smart Pillar Pilot Scheme Launches on Ebury Street, London

Published by Scotscape on 1st July 2019 -


The Scotscape Group has been part of the vertical greening industry since it first gained traction in the UK in 2007.  Our installations of living walls for both exterior and interior projects are extensive and knowledge garnered through constant research and development has led our thought-leading team to develop the Smart Pillar™

Inspired by the knowledge the industry has gained about the benefits of urban greening in increasingly busy cityscapes we wanted to take the concept of vertical retrofitting of plants one step further by using the existing resource of street furniture (including lamp posts) as a framework on which to grow plants, thus the Smart Pillar™ was designed.

In conjunction with Greenwich University and Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, a pilot scheme of Smart Pillar™ is being trialled in Ebury Street, close to Victoria in the centre of London’s Belgravia.  Pollution levels in Ebury Street will be monitored by Greenwich University to assess the benefits that the pilot scheme brings.

The environmental impact of the lamp posts installed on Ebury street will be monitored by the University of Greenwich over a one year air quality assessment period, using high accuracy monitoring equipment, collaborating with Grosvenor’s participation in the London Air Quality Network, separately run by Kings College London.

Vegetation in the urban landscape brings many benefits to the built environment, such as helping to mitigate air pollution, expanding urban biodiversity, evapo-transpiration cooling effect and noise reduction. There is also a strong argument to be made for a greater inclusion of nature and planting in the urban environment in terms of psychological well-being. 

The use of columnar living wall systems has been designed as a viable alternative to tree planting in congested city centres where service pipe volume beneath our pavements often prevents tree planting. The potential negative effects of particulate matter build up under extensive tree canopies can also be mitigated. 

The capability of Smart Pillar™ to be retrofitted onto existing structures is an attractive proposition, with an estimated 494,000 lamp posts in Central London alone, the positive impact to wayfinding and placemaking that such structures bring to the urban environment is extensive.

What are the benefits of the Smart Pillar™?

  • Smart Solar technology powers irrigation
  • Urban greening mitigates air pollution
  • All year-round attractive foliage and colour to support placemaking
  • Commercial revenue opportunities using signage and sponsorship
  • Smart Irrigation recirculation system with no water wastage
  • Hi water retention fabric to maximise water use
  • Innovative construction using patented Fytotextile supports long term plant growth
  • Improves biodiversity and provides biodiverse corridors into cities
  • Enhances wayfinding through city centres
  • Easily installed and maintained with no damage to existing lamp-posts

Angus Cunningham Managing Director of Scotscape says ‘'In the 35 years since I started Scotscape and with global warming, pollution and urbanisation achieving regular headline space, an exciting marketplace is appearing where we really can make a difference. With our patented Smart Greening systems we have the technology to face up to these challenges using nature as our ally. Scotscape has grown into a dynamic SME with a wealth of knowledge and intellectual property that we continue to develop. We are as excited as we are passionate about introducing and maintaining living green and biodiversity into the most challenging of urban areas.'

Andrew Maskell of Grosvenor says “Creating new green space in intensely used urban areas requires imagination and determination. We know that green interventions can have a tremendously positive impact on our environment and also our well-being and we are excited to see the results of this unique pilot. With 14,000 lamp posts in Westminster alone, the potential of the green lamp posts to improve the health and well-being of Londoners could be significant and lead to the development of green lamp posts as standard street furniture.”

Shelley Mosco of Greenwich University says “We at the University of Greenwich Green Roofs and Living Walls Centre are very pleased to be working with Scotscape to develop their new invention – the ‘Smart Pillar’ for greening the environment, enhancing urban biodiversity and improving air quality.

The Green Roofs and Living Walls Centre at the University of Greenwich is a leading research group delivering innovative solutions for sustainable urban development, knowledge dissemination involving all aspects of green infrastructure including green roofs, living walls and urban agriculture and aquaponics

Collectively the team have been involved in numerous innovative projects over the last 10 years. We have academic and practical expertise in environmental and sustainable design including air quality mitigation, plants for biodiversity, urban food growing, air quality and wellbeing and practical expertise in living wall systems, planting design, maintenance and education.

We have developed short courses on living walls for designers and urban greening promotion for local authorities, as well as providing tours of our Centre at Stockwell Street in Greenwich where we have 14 green roofs and numerous living wall systems on display.

Please contact us for more information (Dr Benz Kotzen [email protected]).”

About Scotscape

Scotscape brings 35 years of landscape, construction and maintenance experience to the UK’s thriving landscaping industry.  We work throughout the UK and Europe installing ‘smart’ greening systems for interior and exterior settings. These include living walls, living ceilings and bespoke irrigation services.  Scotscape is committed to providing excellent service, funding on-going research into nature-based solutions in order to make our cities cleaner, greener and healthier places to live.

Our research has now extended to projects with the University of Sheffield, The University of Seville and The University of Cambridge, University of Greenwich Hadlow College and the charity Bug Life. We will continue to work with educational bodies to ensure that the value of greening our cities is irrefutably supported.

[email protected]

Anna Roochove, Marketing Manager, Scotscape

Anna Roochove

Specialists in Commercial and Domestic Landscape Construction, Living Walls, and Urban Greening. We employ over 60 staff at our head office and nursery in Surrey, operating a fleet of vehicles to service projects across the UK and Europe.

Link to Scotscape business profile

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