Japan Business Initiative for Biodiversity
Mori Building Co., Ltd.
Initiatives to restore and protect biodiversity in central Tokyo
Mori Building’s ideal “Vertical Garden City” concept is a model for environmentally advanced cities.
Open areas generated through the vertical redevelopment of buildings are used to increase green spaces, and by employing innovative ways to enhance their quality, insects and birds are attracted to these sites and new ecosystems are born. There, people and nature embrace each other to achieve an ideal city where rich biodiversity is conserved and restored. Each project is understood to be a strategic point in an ecological network covering central Tokyo, and with awareness of its connections with the surrounding large and small green spaces, the development is designed to make it more habitable for flora and fauna.
The following two projects are exemplary cases of vertical garden cities taking into account “conservation and restoration of biodiversity” and the “ecological network.”
Case 1: ARK Hills Sengokuyama Mori Tower (completed August 2012)
At the ARK Hills Sengokuyama Mori Tower, green spaces contributing to the conservation and restoration of biodiversity were created through efforts including the planting of vegetation centering on plants indigenous to the area; purposely planting dead trees to provide home for wildlife; and preserving and using soil taken from the site before construction.
In the maintenance of the plants after the site’s completion, the use of chemicals is limited to all possible extent, and in order to ensure that the soil is rich with organisms, which form the base of the ecosystem pyramid, fallen leaves are kept in the beds. In addition, to enable the local residents and children to deepen their understanding of biodiversity, videos of the flora and fauna are distributed and events and information meetings are also held.
For the two years from 2014 through 2015, Mori Building is also participating in the Edo Tokyo Greenery Revival Project (public-private partnership) implemented by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s Bureau of Environment to advance the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in Tokyo.
Case 2: Toranomon Hills (completed June 2014)
Shintoradori Avenue, linking Toranomon Hills to Shiodome, has been designated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as one of the environmental east-west axis routes bringing breezes from the ocean into the city center and creating an urban environment rich in greenery. The extensive greenery from the Imperial Palace to Hibiya Park and on to Atagoyama and Shiba Park, also creates a green belt stretching from north to south. At Toranomon Hills, which is located at the intersection of these two axis lines, Mori Building built an underground road and a 6,000㎡ open space full of greenery above ground to cultivate ecosystems.
In this project as well, local indigenous species were planted to create the greenery on the grounds. Efforts are taken to raise ecosystems that suit this location, such as reproducing meadows with Japanese pampas grass and cogon grass, woodlands centering on deciduous trees such as Quercus serrata, an oak tree, and woodlands made up mainly of ferns and Machilus thunbergi, one of the world’s largest bay trees. A creek, a reproduction of the Sakura River, which used to exist near this site, flows through this green space where birds such as the Japanese pygmy woodpecker (Kogera), Japanese tit, Japanese white-eye, and brown-eared bulbul fly and chirp to their heart’s content.
The above two projects have acquired the highest AAA rank of the JHEP (Japan Habitat Evaluation & Certification Program, Ecosystem Conservation Society-Japan), which evaluates efforts that consider the protection of ecosystems.