Press Release

16 January 2023

Turning Blue Monday Green: Residents want more greenery in Britain’s cities

  • This Blue Monday, two thirds (66%) of city dwellers have said they want to see more greenery where they live, work and socialise
  • More than half (57%) would welcome more vertical green living walls to make up for a lack of ground space
  • A similar number (51%) think there is currently not enough investment in urban greening

With 16 January 2023 marking Blue Monday, dubbed the most depressing day of the year, in addition to the usual post-Christmas lull, dark wintry weather and awaiting the arrival of pay day, city dwellers have claimed a lack of greenery in their area is also giving them the blues.

Research by living wall specialist Biotecture, a Mitie company, found that two thirds (66%) of people who live in urban environments want to see more botanical beauty where they live, with over a quarter (26%) feeling demotivated by the lack of green space in their area and one in five (20%) feeling isolated. More than half (51%) think there is not enough investment in urban greening and two fifths (43%) believe there is just too little space available for nature.

Recognising that there is simply not enough horizontal space for parks and open areas, the majority (57%) would welcome more vertical greenery, such as living walls where plants are grown up the side of buildings, to make up for the lack of ground level room in their city. Others want more trees (43%), flower beds (38%) and grass (36%) – as many (78%) say greenery improves their mental wellbeing.

A large number of city dwellers (79%) said they enjoy living in an urban place, thanks to the convenience, career opportunities and social life. Yet the research also found over two thirds (67%) would consider moving to a greener suburb or the countryside to be able to enjoy nature more. Those looking to move want cleaner air (40%), a calmer life (39%), more space (34%) and to be able to get outside more (32%).

However, almost two thirds (62%) would consider staying in a metropolitan environment if there was more investment in urban greening, saying the key benefits of living around plenty of greenery include having cleaner air (47%) and more wildlife (45%).

Richard Sabin, Managing Director, Biotecture said:

“Having access to greenspace shouldn’t just be a bonus when it comes to living in a city, everyone should be able to easily enjoy nature. It’s no surprise people feel demotivated and isolated if they don’t have access to greenery, whether that’s at their place of work, where they live or where they socialise.

“But it’s true cities can lack the space, which is why vertical living walls can be a great solution. The countryside has its draws, but it’s easy to see why people love living an urban life. Plants and greenery can make our cities healthier, happier, and more resilient to climate change. It’s clear people can enjoy many of the benefits associated with more rural living, whilst enjoying everything our cities have to offer if we prioritise and invest in urban greening.”

Biotecture is a living wall specialist which aims to transform urban environments and reconnect people with nature. Living walls are panels of plants, grown vertically on structures that are either freestanding or attached to walls. They are a space-saving solution for greenery, containing plants that help to clean the air, provide enhanced insulation and shading for buildings and improve the aesthetics of an area.

Notes to editors

The research surveyed 2,000 people who live in urban environments and was carried out by OnePoll between 23 December 2022 and 3 January 2023.

About Biotecture:

Biotecture, a Mitie company, is a trailblazing living wall business established in 2007 by visionaries Richard Sabin and Mark Laurence with the aim of transforming urban environments and reconnecting people with nature.

Since then the business has grown into one of the UK’s leading living wall companies employing a large team of like-minded professionals and becoming part of the Mitie family in February 2022.

Biotecture’s modular system remains the most flexible, resilient, and low-water-use of any fully comprehensive living wall system. Biotecture is passionate about spreading the urban greening message and recently developed PlantBox, a stackable, modular, freestanding living wall system that can be easily retrofitted without affecting building structure. It was a finalist in the RHS Chelsea Sustainable Product of the Year 2021.

Social responsibility has always been an integral part of Biotecture’s approach during the last 15 years, and the company has is signed up to 1% for the Planet, committing to donate 1% of its sales to environmental causes going forward.

The company’s versatile, patented living walls systems can be used for both large-scale and smaller scale projects including construction sites, corporate/retail, airports/stations, highways, universities, car parks, leisure & hospitality, schools, residential courtyards and roof gardens. 

Follow Biotecture on LinkedIn:

About Mitie

Founded in 1987, Mitie’s job is to look after places where Britain works and is the leading facilities management company in the UK. We offer a range of services to the Public Sectors in Central Government and Defence and Communities (Healthcare, Education and Campus & Critical). Our Technical Services (Engineering Services, Energy, Water and Real Estate Services) and Business Services (Security, Cleaning and Office Services) divisions serve private sector customers in Telecoms, Financial & Professional Services, Transport and Industrials and increasingly to the public sector. Finally, our Specialist Services (Care & Custody, Landscapes, Waste Management and Spain) division serves both the public and private sectors in these niche businesses.

Mitie acquired Interserve’s facilities management business on 30 November 2020 and now employs 68,000 people. We are the champion of the ‘Frontline Heroes’ who have kept Britain working during the COVID pandemic. We take care of our customers’ people and buildings, through the ‘Science of Service’, and we are transforming facilities to be more flexible, safe, sustainable, and attractive to all.

The business continues to execute its technology-led strategy and in the past twelve months has received multiple awards. Find out more at