The Vertical Forest
The age of green is upon us. We have reached a point in our human evolution where science, math, and creative genius have discovered a way to suspend a living forest in mid air. The answer to city pollution is now Stefano Boeri’s Bosco Verticale, the world’s first 27-story microclimate apartment towers currently under construction in Milan, Italy.
Built to function as city air purifiers, these lush apartments will include over 900 trees, 5,000 bushes, and 11,000 plants throughout the tower balconies. Each perch of life will aid in reducing city noise, moderating atmospheric temperatures, absorbing CO2 emissions, and acting as an energy sustainer for seasonal weather shifts. This model will tremendously increase air quality as living expenses will dramatically decrease. Utilities will be relatively low as each ecosystem is generated through natural light and grey-water irrigation and helps to conserve energy throughout each unit.
To take this sustainable design to the next level, Boeri plans to implement BioMilano, a project to revitalize the biological space within the entire city of Milan. His vision is to stop expanding the city into rural environments, and instead fuse urban dwellings with agricultural prosperity. Milan is one of the most polluted cities in the world with benzene-laced air equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. As the metropolis continues to grow, more and more agricultural land and natural habitats are being destroyed.
With countries across the globe experiencing their industrial revolution, the importance of maintaining a balanced ecosystem becomes increasingly relevant to the survival of our Earthy humanity. On his company website, Boeri reports that BioMilano is for “metropolitan reforestation that contributes to the regeneration of the environment and urban biodiversity without the implication of expanding the city upon the territory.” The transitional state from concrete jungle to urban biospheres will set the precedence for other major metropolitan cities to embrace the same sustainable ideology. Boeri states on his site that in order for these changes to occur, a new agreement needs to be made between the city, the natural world, and the agriculture industry.
At the core of BioMilano, 60 publicly owned and abandoned farms around the edge of Milan have been zoned for a new kind of farming that will provide work for the community and produce food for local markets. “BioMilan is a political project which aims to increase the number of businesses which, working together in areas linked to agriculture, forestation and renewable energy, can regenerate the urban economy and provide forms of integration and work for thousands of citizens,” Boeri says of the proposed project.
With a suppressed economy and dense population, Milan will be able to reverse their toxic spiral and establish a thriving yet healthy city economy with Bosco Verticale and BioMilano. As Boeri paves the way for urban restitution, the world anxiously watches as his first building is put into effect. The idea of a vertical forest is not only fascinating and timely, but is also quite necessary for our environmental survival and wellbeing. If Boeri’s Bosco Verticale is a success, we might have just saved our world from hitting that fast-approaching iceberg. To learn more about Bosco Verticale or BioMilano visit StefanoBoeriArchitetti.