Bar-Ilan University | President’s Report 2022

54 18 months of research show: Greener walls make for happier people Urban heat islands, or areas in a city where the temperatures are higher than their surroundings, have negative impacts on human health and well-being. While the solution—more trees and vegetation—may be obvious, a lack of space for parks or even patches of soil often make planting an impossibility. At least, if you’re planting in the ground: The Green Wall Project, a multidisciplinary initiative between Bar-Ilan and ARO researchers and the Israeli agritech company Vertical Field, takes an innovative approach to the problemby covering buildings with greenery. The facades of two Bar-Ilan buildings—called the campus’s “green canyon”—were covered with two types of vertical greenery systems (VGS): green walls and vertical forests. Two identical buildings (the so-called “gray canyon”) served as the control. Thanks to advanced sensors, researchers were able to assess the impact of VGS on the urban environment and human health and well-being, as well as to perform a costbenefit analysis. Leading the environmental assessments was Prof. Itamar Lensky of the Department of Geography and Environment, along with his doctoral student Noa Zuckerman. Zuckerman showed that in the middle of the green canyon—about ten meters from the VGS—the ambient temperature decreased or increasedwith respect to the gray canyon by about one degree Celsius in the summer andwinter, respectively. Average indoor air temperatures behind the vertical forest were affected, as The Green Wall Initiative