Phytotechnologies in response to a wide range of environmental challenges

Phytotechnologies involve the use of living plants to solve environmental problems. The plants are selected and implanted to achieve specific objectives, such as:

  • Air, water and/or soil remediation
  • Erosion and runoff control
  • Wind speed reduction
  • Heat reduction
  • Greenhouse gas sequestration

Phytotechnologies are numerous: they include the plantation of trees along the streets, vegetated roofs and walls, vegetated sound barriers, windbreaks, filtering wetlands, bioretention systems (vegetated stormwater management facilities) and phytoremediation (the decontamination of air, soil and water by plants). Phytotechnologies also include the vegetation of riparian strips, as well as vegetated landscaping, whether for slope stabilization or ecological restoration[1].

These green technologies are even more effective as the plants establish themselves and develop over time. They fit perfectly into green infrastructure, which is a strategic approach to greening and greening of cities[2]. This is crucial as cities face increasing challenges, including:

  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Remediation of contaminated or degraded sites
  • Improving the quality of the environment to provide services essential to public health and the well-being of citizens (this includes heat island control, runoff water control, development of recreational and tourism areas, etc.)


[2] Dupras, J., Drouin, C., André, P., Gonzalez, A. (2015a) Towards the establishment of a green infrastructure in the region of Montreal (Quebec, Canada). Planning Practice and Research 30 : 355–375.