Milan’s Awesome Vertical Forest

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In an age where harmonious innovation is becoming more celebrated, Milan brings us a vertical forest designed by Stefan Boeri Architects. When complete, the Bosco Verticale will be the greenest building in Milan! Considering Milan is one of Europe’s most populated cities, this is a solid inovation in bringing clean air to the city center while introducing a beautiful design.


Bosco Verticale by Stefan Boeri Architects.

The BioMilano vision promises to incorporate 60 abandoned farms into a greenbelt surrounding the city and as part of this vision the Bosco Verticale finds its way into fruition. The building’s design boasts a stunning green façade planted with dense forest systems to provide a building microclimate and to filter out polluting dust particles. Along with that, the living bio-canopy helps to absorb CO2, oxygenate the air, moderate extreme temperatures and lower noise pollution. Not only is this visually pleasing but it also helps to lower living costs.


Bosco Verticale Schematic by Stefan Boeri Architects.

In the building, each apartment balcony will feature trees (900 plantings are planned for the two buildings) that will provide shade during  the summer months, only to drop their leaves in winter to allow for winter sunlight. Plant irrigation is provided via a grey-water filtration system. Grey-water is used water that goes down the sink or used in the shower. Additionally, photovoltaic power generation will help provide sustainable power to the building.

This is a forward thinking design and implementation of nature that is not only helping our surrounding environment but also help in bringing us back to harmony and nature.

Before ending off the research on this post I was able to find a progress update. Here are asome images of the building near complete. You can see the freshly planted vegetation which gives us an idea of what things might look like.


credit Carlo Alberto Mari


credit Carlo Alberto Mari



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More From 'Discover'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Eliot Estep

    Wow this is really awesome! The future is here!! 😀

    • athiest

      there will be sooo much bird shyt it aint funny and how many dead animals will have spattered on the pavement.

    • Roz

      Fantastic…thats how we all should live

  2. Michel Sastre

    A good concept, but the tees area will give added stress from occasional storm winds. Not being an engineer, I would appreciate seeing what stresses have been included in the design. Further, the weight of the necessary soil plus the weight of the trees growing beyond saplings will add more stress to what looks like a cantilever structure for the balconies.

    • David Hereaux

      As far as the building being able to hold up to the added stress, The buildings in New York held up just fine when the planes hit them, it wasn’t until the nano thermite exploded that they came down.

      • I agree I think any steel building would wistand a plane but once they add thermite and shit. It’s a different story. Jet fuel can’t bring down a building.

    • Umbabog

      Michel, your concerns are quite proper, provided you are thinking about engineers who work for the US government. Most of the world’s engineers have to learn arithmetic and higher math. Engineering as done by US gov’t engineers is faith-based; they don’t need math.
      For example, 3,000 people were murdered on 9/11. Our government told us an airliner flew into the Pentagon; the government wouldn’t lie about that. All of the pictures of the event represent a hole in the Pentagon which was 16 feet wide. Now, engineers in Milan, trained in math and geometry, would say that’s hard to do. Faith-based US gov’t engineers have no difficulty with the concept.
      You know, if I were a Pentagon person I could use this as a means of helping with the defense budget. This sixteen-foot hole in the Pentagon, caused by an airliner, is like a non-denominational miracle. They could have the decor be appropriately reverential, and they could buy some used crutches and hang them on the chapel-like walls. Chaplains of all faiths could help with counseling and blessing relics, etc. After a couple of healings the Pentagon could work out to be better than Lourdes, because Lourdes is pretty much for just Catholics, and it’s closer, too.

      • And your comment is relevant to the discussion in what way?

      • Michel Sastre

        Umbabog, sorry, I don’t go into faith/no faith and, as an old pilot and accident investigator, a sixteen foot hole will easily accommodate an airliner in the same circumstances. Sorry I can’t be of any help there.

    • Justin Case

      The best part will be when a tree or even a branch falls from the building and punches through someones head killing them in front of children. This is more nature naz! bunk.

      • David Hereaux

        I like the idea. Very good question. Maybe they will have a one hundred foot safety zone around the building. It looks neat but I think you’re onto something here. I wonder if they thought of it yet? They will when the lawsuit happens.

        • M4tr0

          hey guys what you talking about?!?! Trees branches do not randomly fall off them. There is something called pruning that is made seasonally to trees and that’s when branches are cut!
          Rather this will involve some landscaping agency to look after the greeneries in the building..

    • Phootthai Maidai

      Yea, that’s why they employ engineers when they design buildings.

      • Sokol

        Engineers design them but that is just wrong idea, its good in the beginning unitl the trees grows and their roots damages the building itself we will hear this in future :)

      • LOL.

  3. Grizzly Joe

    It’s an attractive novelty for “city dwellers”, but there’s still plenty of “world” to go around … so I can’t see this being anything more than a novelty. Hopefully, the population of this planet will find some way to stabilize before something like this becomes necessity.
    I guess long walks in the woods are not suggested … lol.
    BTW: I follow you on Facebook. I like your posts. Keep up the good work.

    • Alessandra Ferrari

      Certainly a great idea , better than just concrete, but it still really feels so artificial and most of those plant require a certain ecosystem, conifers and the fir variety in particular. I doubt very much they will last long.
      Milan is a very polluted city I am afraid.

  4. Kristen Claire Jones

    I want to live there! :)

  5. CalDre

    Well, I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder … But to me the idea seems really bad simply for the fact that the vegetation seems to block all the windows. Besides being depressing for the inhabitants, it will cause increased usage of artificial lighting, which will mitigate if not eliminate any ¨savings¨.

    • James

      I would have thought having nature outside your window would be the opposite of depressing. I may be different though. I grew up in the country and when I moved to a city for work I had really close neighbours, but what made up for that was that out every window I could see tree branches. I could still get sunlight through the trees. It was great. I then later moved to a house where I look out the window and all I see is concrete. I would much rather prefer to see nature outside my window than concrete.

      Great Idea, especially with the grey water. I hope that the trees will not be killed if residents decide to use chemical based washing products instead of plant based. Perhaps there is a filtration system in the grey water to account for this.

  6. Maghnus

    So we’ve got the engineering side of things, now maybe the landscape gardeners point of view. This is going to be a nightmare to look after, architects and landscape architects come up with the most ridiculous ideas because they don’t have to stick around to maintain their creations. These trees are going to have to be constantly kept in check, regular pruning and inspection irrigation etc, all causing more energy usage. And some trees just don’t take to formal pruning and will just look ugly and misshapen. And no matter how hardy the tree is, these are going to get ripped to shreds if they’re that exposed. And God knows what will happen in storm winds. They’d be better off just palnting more trees on the streets.

  7. Hey, this is Kathryn. I love all solutions. Keep innovation for the better. As a naturalist, I concur.

  8. Have a look at the size of the ‘pots’ the trees will grow in. They don’t have a chance of accommodating tree roots of the size needed to support the large trees shown in the artist-rendered pictures. This tells me just one thing- gimmick! These are really just large flower boxes. “Hey Mom, can I go climb the trees?”

    It won’t happen! (Thank God…)

  9. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  10. Gavin Alexander

    There are a number of issues to consider here:

    Generally, plants on window ledges need watered. Rain is not enough for them. They will also be extremely exposed here, so evapo-transpiration will be high, requiring even more water to compensate. The water will have to be pumped up every day from round level. This will increase electricity consumption (unless you stick wind turbines on the roof to lift the water).

    Hundreds of tonnes of leaves will fall every year, creating chaos in the streets, increased cleaning by the council, and thus increased use of petrol/diesel. Every balcony will be inundated with dead and rotting leaves = leaf mould = damp = problems for the building structure.. Every time a high wind hits the building in autumn there will be vast storms of dead leaves falling over the city.

    Falling Branches/Trees
    As someone pointed out, large chunks of timber will fall. Pruning would be an enormous task, and highly dangerous too, both for the (expensive) tree surgeons and people below during this (probably year-round) task.

    Insects will colonise the trees (I presume this is expected and intended?). These insects may noit always be welcomed by the residents. Birds will be attracted to feed on the insects, build nests and/or just use the place as a huge roost. Vast flocks of birds will develop around these safe havens. Vast quantities of guano (bird shit) will therefore dribble down the walls of the building and rain down onto the streets below. (Have you seen the cliffs of nesting seabirds?). Some birds will be welcome, but the “wrong” types of birds will arrive and people will become upset with the noise (eg seagulls, starlings, crows). What will ensue is the usual battle between people and the nature they are trying to control and manipulate and manicure to suit themselves.

    I’m getting fed writing, so just need mention, as poited out above, all the extra stresses due to weight and wind resistance. Also extra water throughout the building and potential damage. Tree roots growing everywhere when they are not properly managed will be a real threat to the structure of the balconies. As everybody knows, roots can force their way through concrete.

    Trees blocking windows, plant pots having to be fixed down, trees tied down due to high winds.

    And what happens in a particularly cold winter? Add ice to the equation and you have a disaster with all that water and dying trees there.

    Very expensive! Not very environmentally friendly!

    Let trees grow in the countryside. They are best suited there.

    • Mike

      You bring up many legitimate concerns.

  11. Jon

    Will there be some sort of purification system for the water? It said that grey water is used from sinks and showers but will the plants be ok with all the chemicals and stuff that might reach them??

    I mean, when we shower, we use soap… can plants live off soapy water?

    IF anyone has info i would be interested in how grey water will be safe for the plants.

  12. This is a fantastic idea for bringing green vegetation and habitats for other wildlife into inner city areas, but such arboretums will by nature be relatively sterile so therefore could never replace the majesty and biodiversity of native ancient woodlands and rainforest and could never replace their environmental benefits. I do praise the ingenuity of the designers and engineers on their efforts to bring the benefits of green vegetation to our inner cities: I have often thought that with so many flat rooftops we could grow gardens in our urban centres… this is taking that to the next level! :)

  13. s

    to be honest, the planters dont look big enough

  14. jeremy

    great idea but i think lots of small plants and not trees would be the best solution. maybe potatoes, carrots, greenbeans? anything which will not make a fall hazard, requires little to no maintenance, and has small roots would be best.

  15. Something noone has considered is fire. Vertical flame spread by facades is already a problem so this is actually a really dangerous idea, essentially constructing a facade from highly combustible greenery. also, to those talking about 9/11 and ”nano thermite”, it is actually fire that you should be referencing regarding those structural collapses. you should stay away from the youtube conspiracy videos

  16. Antonio

    It’ very good idea.

  17. Wishy

    Thinking progressively however there would need to be a way to dispose of garden waste when maintaining (garden waste chute?). Can’t bring all that stuff through the building or throw it off the balcony! Most importantly is water. Supplying water to cities is already a problem with growing populations. Not a stretch to imagine water systems being shut off when water levels are low

  18. greeeeeeeen

    In order to build this vertical “forest” they had to cut a REAL FOREST!!!! where is the green future, human is destroying it, and has not power to build it. Don’t think it is awesome!!! rather sad.

  19. Nick M

    I am wondering what they propose to deo with the large trees once they are too big for this habitat. Looks like they will be spending alot of money to keep them trimmed other wise they will grow to high and start to damage the deck above it. Also what about the massive roots that trees need to grow…. They will slowly find areas in the building material to wiggle into and then the structure will lose its strength and start to crumble. Makes me wonder about all the roof top gardens and forest’s countries are allowing. None of these buildings are designed to take the kind of load directly ontop that these forests and gardens will weight. soil and water is very heavy not to mention the plants. and erosion and damage from the water to the structure I see them banning these structures in another 30 years once they start to fall apart.

    • Sali Senior

      pretty sure all this was taken into account when designing the thing

  20. dadycupcakes

    This seems like a great idea, there are lot’s of idea’s out there that are similar to this. It is great to see that someone is finally using them and creating them. I think it’s funny all these people who come in here and write these huge comments about how this is a problem and that’s a problem, not enough water, falling branches etc. Do you people honestly think that they would just build something like this with none of these thoughts in mind? like they would just build it and say oh let’s just see how this turns out, if it fails or someone get’s hurt or dies from it well that’s just a simple sacrifice…. come on all you average joes out there writing comments that you think are brilliant and are thinking up problems that the architects, scientists, building planners etc etc didn’t think of? seriously they don’t let just anybody build something like this! these types of buildings takes years of planning and research. There are people with many many many years of knowledge, schooling, and experience beyond your years that built this building. I guarantee you in the next 10,20,30 years you will not be hearing about how this building was troubled with this or that. You will be hearing about how great it has been, how easy it has been to maintain, and how beneficial to the environment,economy, etc. it has been.


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