Turning cities into forests. (Re)introducing nature into urban centres. These spectacular projects have a name: Vertical Forest.
Francesca Cesa is a partner and project manager at Studio Stefano Boeri Architetti, a Milan-based architectural firm that also has offices in Tirana and Shanghai. Her credo? Reintroducing green into the city.
The urban forest project dates from 2007. Its prototype? A building in Milan, whose design included many relationships with natural elements. Since then, The Vertical Forest project has already left its mark in several cities, mainly in Milan, Tirana and the Egyptian capital. In Cairo, for example, this sustainable approach contributes to the ecological conversion of the city. Roofs become gardens, walls become fields or lawns and a real green corridor now runs through the city.
The idea behind the project is to promote the coexistence of architecture and nature in urban areas. By multiplying the number of plants and creating real “tree towers” inhabited by people. The different sites that have benefited from a VF project have an average of 2 trees, 8 shrubs and 40 bushes for each person.
This technique reduces heat islands and pollution: greenery absorbs CO2 and fine particles, protects from noise, and produces oxygen.
The insulating effect is also impressive: thanks to green balconies, it is up to 3 degrees colder indoors (the shade created by the vegetation limits the use of air-conditioning in hot areas in summer) and the facades also heat less.
Vertical Forest projects are intended either to turn existing urban centres green or to be integrated into new neighbourhoods, built according to more demanding sustainability criteria. With, in the end, an improvement in proximity, a densification of the urban environment and, in passing, new landscapes and horizons.