The forest and the city may seem like opposites, but what if our architecture could meld our cities with our natural spaces? This is what architect Stefano Boeri’s vertical forest attempts to do. His prototype in Milan features two residential buildings with 20,000 trees, shrubs and plants. That’s two trees, eight shrubs, and 40 plants for each human inhabitant.
These plants do more than just beautify the buildings they inhabit. They also serve to provide shade, psychological benefits to residents, absorb 30 tons of carbon dioxide, and produce 19 tons of oxygen per year.
Boeri has big visions for his vertical forest design. He has planned similar buildings in Treviso, Lausanne, and Utrecht. In the Chinese city of Liuzhou, Boeri has a vision for a whole community of tree-covered buildings including homes, schools, hospitals, and office buildings.
Intensive research went into picking the plants for the buildings to make a successful vertical forest. Boeri aims to make the buildings available to residents from all income brackets. His lack of patent on his designs was a purposeful move to attempt to kickstart a revolution of green buildings.
These green buildings undoubtedly involve more planning than the average apartment building, but their benefits to the environment and city aesthetics outweigh the effort required to design them. Keep your eye out, you may soon see a vertical forest in a city near you.
This story was one of the best from 2019, and we are happy to include it in our “12 Days of Optimism” as we get ready to welcome 2020!