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Vertical forests bring biodiversity to cities

Words by Smiley Team

Vertical forests are a thing now – and what’s more, you can live in them.

Stefano Boeri Architetti is an architecture firm from Italy that has blended the natural and the urban, with a focus on biodiversity and sustainability. Beginning in 2014 in Milan, their project ‘Bosco Verticale’ – meaning ‘vertical forest’ – is now in place all over the world, including China.

So, what are they?

These forests are buildings that are capable of growing and nurturing plant life and – because of their height – mean that it's possible to plant a significantly larger amount of trees on a patch of ground than normal. And what's more, it’s now possible to live in one of these vertical forests.

The first unit of vertical forests began in Milan, as an attempt to bring biodiversity back into metropolitan areas. This is made up of two residential towers, reaching 119 and 87 metres tall, which are capable of hosting over 900 trees and 2000 other plants from a wide range of species.

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Now, designed by the firm’s China branch, comes the Huangguang vertical forest. With both open and closed balconies, these apartment buildings consist of five separate towers covering 4.54 hectares of land. Two of these are purely residential, and now boast 404 trees that will be able to grow to their full height thanks to these incredible vertical forests.

The trees are made up of local species, including gingko and acer, which live alongside 4,620 shrubs and an incredible 2,408 square metres of perennial grasses, flowers and climbing plants.

By blending human life with plant life, this innovative architecture firm is giving cities the power and the ability to protect their local plant species, and their residents, without neglecting the environment. 

Inspired to act?

DONATE: Donate to the Nature Conservancy, and help them on their mission to plant a billion trees.

GET INVOLVED: Volunteer with charities such as the Woodland Trust and get your hands dirty planting trees for the environment.


This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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