The world’s first vertical forest was officially opened in October 2014 in Milan. According to lead designer and architect Stefano Boeri, “It’s very important to completely change how these new cities are developing. Urban forestation means parks, gardens, but it also means having buildings with trees.” The Vertical Forest (or Bosco Verticale) consists of two residential towers of 80 and 112 metres that host 20,000 trees, shrubs and plants. This urban ecosystem absorbs CO2 and dust particles, generates oxygen, moderates temperatures, and protects against radiation and noise pollution. It also attracts a great variety of wildlife, from insects to birds, that repopulate the city’s flora and fauna. The height of the buildings is aimed at reducing urban sprawl. Other sustainability features include renewable energy from solar panels and filtered wastewater.
Oscar Cusó, contributor for Cities4Forests and writer at National Geographic Spain.