Soil is the foundation of life as we know it, this building block of nature turns tiny seeds into large trees and yields crops that give us the food we need. Soil consists of water, air, mineral particles, organic matter and is as essential as water or even air when it comes to sustaining life. Though we may not realize it, soil is always teeming with life and has an ecosystem of its own. There are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than there are people on earth. As they help plants and trees grow, it is important to protect these microorganisms from natural threats to their existence that are caused by erosion and the side effects of global warming. Brigade Cornerstone Utopia treats soil as the precious source of life that it is and aims to create a larger ecosystem around it.

Laying Down the Right Roots.

There are many layers of soil extending deep into the earth. On the surface, most organic life-particles stay as close as possible to the oxygen in the air and are usually found in the uppermost layers. By common definition, up to the top 10 inches of soil where most of these microorganisms reside is known as topsoil, greenery and vegetation thrive on this upper layer of topsoil.

Brigade Cornerstone Utopia strives to create a green ecosystem for the future. To establish such an ecosystem from the ground up, we started with the ground or specifically the topsoil.

Going beyond the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) parameter of storing and reusing a minimum of 8 inches of soil for landscaping and open areas, we have retained an additional 4 inches to grow pockets of greenery across the township and to create an Urban Forest too.

Sustain the Environment, Sustain Life.

Erosion is one of the greatest enemies to life with over 25 to 40 billion tonnes of topsoil being carried away by erosion every year. This yield loss is equivalent to losing 1.5 million square kilometres of land from crop production, this is roughly the size of all the arable land in India. Alarmingly, in the last 150 years, nearly half of the most productive soil in the world has disappeared because of conventional farming practices. The best natural way to prevent erosion is to plant and grow vegetation. The same roots that grow into the soil to receive nutrition also grab on to the soil and prevent it from getting eroded.

At Brigade Cornerstone Utopia, we have made it a point to protect this mutually symbiotic relationship. We have already planted over 12,000 trees that protect the topsoil while keeping it rich in nutrition, minerals and the organic matter that sustains life. Currently, we are nurturing more than 16,000 trees spread across the 47-Acre campus.

When You’re Good to Earth, Earth is Good to You.

The world grows 95% of its food in topsoil and Brigade Cornerstone Utopia will be home to a community garden that grows vegetables and other plants that are easily maintained. Captivating people of all ages, there will be a beautiful butterfly garden that grows specific species of plants which attract butterflies to this sanctuary. There will also be a medicinal garden with plants that are known to have health benefits and special wetlands all around that can show off their lush greenery. There are numerous benefits to maintaining topsoil, and by retaining it and bringing it back within the community, excess water gets retained too. The soil absorbs all the rainwater that falls on the ground and even filters pollutants out of the water naturally before it reaches underground and recharges the groundwater supply.

Prioritizing a Greener Future.

At Brigade Cornerstone Utopia, we have brought to fruition a unique concept known as ‘Urban Forests’. The concept of urban afforestation was revolutionised by Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist, and after partnering with Vanantara farms and many like-minded citizens, we brought the idea to life across the township. Urban forests are planted at a high density by introducing native species of trees in the proportions they are found within local forests. The balance of layers and species is maintained to ensure these complex ecosystems evolve as they were meant to. This forest can be considered as an efficient microcosm of what traditional forests are to our planet. These plants and trees protect the topsoil and make up a vital part of the customized ecosystem. These innovations are a step towards saving the environment and towards sustainability that will change the way people live. By creating an entire forest from scratch, we have gone further than any other township has, we have made a huge impact on people and a real meaningful difference to the environment at a grass-roots level, literally. With everybody coming together to grow more trees and doing their part to save the environment, we are all well on our way to changing the world for the better.