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by Sarah Stevens

2013 will debut the world’s first vertical urban forest, Bosco Verticale.

Designed by Boeri Studio, construction is nearly complete on the two 27-story residential towers located in the heart of Milan, Italy. In 2011, Milan was recognized as one of the most polluted cities in Europe. Bosco Verticale, is one of six components of Stefano Boeri’s BioMilano, a urban restoration vision plan designed to reduce the adverse environmental impacts of urbanization.

Bosco Verticale is an innovative and compelling model for large urban cities worldwide, providing vital ecological and energy benefits within the confines of an urban area. The vertical forest design includes 900 trees, oaks and amelanchiers, 500 shrubs, and 11,000 ground plants—the equivalent of 2.5-acres of forest. Additionally, if the each residential unit had been constructed as individual stand-alone units, more than 50,000 square meters of land and 10,000 square meters of woodland would be required. Each balcony will house a mini-forest complete with a rainwater watering system.

In addition to the design’s energy sufficiency and environmental benefits, construction costs of Bosco Verticale are only 5% more than those required for the usual skyscraper, which will promote replication in other cities.

Bosco Verticale reinforces the importance and vitality of multidisciplinary approaches to create long-term successful environmental sustainable projects and solutions. The Bosco Verticale design is the result of the synergy of ecology, architecture, and engineering disciplines, which flies in the face of a single-faceted technical approach to environmental sustainability.

Bosco Verticale is expected to open later this year. For the most recent photos and updates visit Stefano Boeri Architecture.

For more information on other urban restoration projects, check out our past blogs:

A Watershed Era for Urban River Restoration
Greening Makes Dollars and Sense
Concrete Jungles… Cities of the Past



Stefano Boeri Architecture. Bosco Verticale.

Woodward, Christopher. The age of flower towers. The Financial Times. October 7, 2011.

Pham, Diane. Bosco Verticale: The World’s First Vertical Forest Nears Completion in Milan – NEW PHOTOS. Inhabitat.