India’s Living Bridges: A fascinating Look At Sustainability


Submitted by Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Photographer Amos Chapple brings us a fascinating look into Meghalaya, India, known as the wettest place on Earth. The area receives 467 inches of precipitation per year and under these conditions residents have over centuries adopted several means to cope. In particular is the issue of bridges.

Ordinary bridges constructed of lumber suffer rot under such an environment and are impractical. It was discovered that Rubber Trees possessed a root system that was not only trainable, but could be woven together to form structurally sound bridges.

The Atlantic features several photographs of this and other sustainable measures taken. The notion of living structures has been explored scientifically in the West but no practical examples exist. Here a simple solution is found.

Please visit the article in The Atlantic for Amos’ photographs and a perspective on the community.

By Darren Smith


The Atlantic
Amos Chapple

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13 thoughts on “India’s Living Bridges: A fascinating Look At Sustainability”

  1. Fascinating, not just the human ingenuity but the hardiness of those trees being able to survive having their roots exposed to light.

    Here in the West, designers are working to develop “living wall” systems, to provide insulation, sound attenuation, air filtration, and visual enhancements on the exterior of buildings in urban settings.

  2. Thanks Darren. This was fascinating and beautiful! I wonder what kind of ways they build their homes to survive this much rain. I’m going to try to find that out. If anyone knows, would you please write or link on this site?

  3. Darren, When someone in your state is moping about all the rain in
    Washington have them read this post.

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