These vertical forests will soon dominate Milan's skyline

Illustration for article titled These vertical forests will soon dominate Milan's skyline

We've seen a lot of amazing concepts for urban gardens — green-roofed cities, gardens that stretch high into the clouds — but this pair of vertical forests is more than just a concept design. It's currently being built in Milan.


The brainchild of architect Stefano Boeri, Bosco Verticale (simply "vertical forest") is currently under construction in the form of two residential towers. The goal of Bosco Verticale is not only to beautify the cityscape, but also contribute to the creation of an artificial microclimate and improve air quality:

The Bosco Verticale is a system that optimizes, recuperates and produces energy. The Bosco Verticale aids in the creation of a microclimate and in filtering the dust particles contained in the urban environment. The diversity of the plants and their characteristics produce humidity, absorb CO2 and dust particles, producing oxygen and protect from radiation and acoustic pollution, improving the quality of living spaces and saving energy. Plant irrigation will be produced to great extent through the filtering and reuse of the grey waters produced by the building. Additionally Aeolian and photovoltaic energy systems will contribute, together with the aforementioned microclimate to increase the degree of energetic self sufficiency of the two towers.

It's so lovely to see one of these projects actually coming to fruition. Perhaps this sort of preplanned urban landscaping will start a trend.

Bosco Verticale [Stefano Boeri via This Big City via The Awesomer]


A mind is a tribble thing

I have a nagging feeling that 5-10 years after it's completion and the tenants moving in, it will be stripped of most, if not all built-in vegetation.

Trees grow up AND out. Trees in a city require maintenance.

Forgetting the leaves for the moment, trimming the branches of these trees is gonna be a bitch for the branches growing on the inside of the structure, and nearly impossible for those on the outside.

Baring chainsaw-equipped gardeners rappelling down the walls.

And it would still mean that branches would be falling down into the street. What is Italian for "TIMBER!"?

And should they not employ ninja-gardeners, trees will grow asymmetric crowns (if for no other reason then because the sunlight comes from out and above), catching additional rainwater and wind.

Both of which might present a problem as that additional water-flow washes out the soil the trees are rooted in, loosening the trees from their concrete pots.

Also, mud.

One possible solution is to replace the trees with hedge shrubs.

The other would be to make the building more pyramid-like, so the trees could be trimmed more easily, but that would be a waste of space, material and money. Shrubs are much cheaper.