Substrate for plants to grow in constraint environments and dry stack wall systems

Image: Koen Mulder
Image: Koen Mulder

New ideas from the GreenQuays project start stretching beyond the initial plans.


I have already talked earlier about the GreenQuays project of EU Urban Innovative Action in Breda, where the city daylights its old river and develops a new technology to green the vertical quay wall - the Nature-Inclusive Quays (NIQ). Here, plants will grow directly in the joints and niches on the wall, as they often do spontaneously in/on old, weathered walls. As an UIA expert, I advise the city here.


While most of the innovative tasks of planning the quays and testing different technical solutions have finished, GreenQuays focuses on the physical work of constructing now.  This does, however, not mean that the innovative part of the work is on hold, and everybody is waiting for the results of the established quays that will have been built in summer next year? During my frequent talks with project partners over the last months, I got aware of interesting side-developments going beyond the GreenQuays project with two partners, who had worked hard on the foundation of the NIQ: Koen Mulder from the University of Delft, who has been responsible for testing different wall materials and designs at the project’s small-scale test site from 2020-2022 and Erwin van Herwijnen from Tree Ground Solutions, who found the solutions to grow small trees out of the quay walls. 


Read on 

  • Finding the best substrate for plants to grow in constraint environments and
  • Dry stack wall systems 

 in my UIA article