The first Vertical Forest in the World is in Milan

Milan is quite (in)famous for its lack of green areas: but Milanesi love green! Whenever they have a balcony, they immediately fill it with flower and plants. Maybe also the designers who created the amazing “Vertical Forest”, il Bosco Verticale, love to see their balcony covered up in green!  The Bosco Verticale is a 2-skyscraper complex, in Milan’s Porta Nuova area. You can take a close look at it during our night segway tours in Milan and it’s pretty much unbelievable!

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Actually inspired by the ivy that covers a lot of Italian houses, Bosco Verticale was aimed at creating a biological habitat and increasing biodiversity. It created an urban ecosystem linking urban life and nature: with its variety of trees planted on every floor, its not just quite a spectacle for your eyes, it’s also a safe oasis against pollution, noise, climate violent changes. Architects Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra projected and started building the two towers of Bosco Verticale between the historic district of Milan between Via De Castillia and Confalonieri during 2009, with the help of botanists and horticulturalists, while an engineering team was there to check the endurance of the building with so many trees on it, and we’re not talking bushes and flowers here, but actual trees: the towers host 900 trees from 3 to 9 mt, and over 2000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants distributed in relation to the façade’s position towards the sun. On flat land, each Vertical Forest equals, in amount of trees, an area of 7000 m2 of forest. The vegetal system of the Vertical Forest aids in the construction of a microclimate, produces humidity, absorbs CO2 and dust particles and produces oxygen. The living façade means the exterior is constantly evolving, changing colours with the seasons and offering the Milan’s residents and ever-changing view of the cityscape.

It was inaugurated in October 2014. Since then it was used as an art gallery and a place for fashion exhibitions, and it’s an acclaimed, prize-winner monument. But do not think it’s just that, a towering art masterpiece: first of all, Bosco Verticale is a residential building, which means that people actually live there. I’d be pretty curious to ask one of them how does it feels to live into such houses, but I think I already know that answer. I mean, it has been awarded in Chicago as Best Architecture 2015.

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I mean, who wouldn’t live in the greenest place in Milan? Milan’s Bosco Verticale is the very first project of a vertical forest in Italy and in the World (of course in modern times, because Babylonian did a pretty great job as well with their hanging gardens): the architects’ aim is to develop more of them around the world, in the more polluted areas, in order to promote a more environmental sensitive living project. It’s quite a fascinating image, a forest growing in the cities, with its ever changing foliage – red and yellow in autumn, sparkling green in spring… And who lives in there doesn’t have to do nothing to keep their green in shape: the whole system, gardening included, is centralized. Quite a good life!

While we wait for the prices to decrease a little bit (yeah, dreaming is nice), we can still hang around the Isola quarter, where the towers are built: after Expo, and a little before that, this neighborhood started to be really really hip, becoming now the cool place in town. Milanesi love the place, which just a few years ago was one of the most decaying. Now is a Eco-bio triumph, perfect for neo-mommies and young people looking for something fun to do by night: just a few steps from the Forest you can find a pretty nice Bistrot and a great Pizzeria, not to mention all the cafes and playground…

So check them out and save for later, because you’ll see most of the area while segwaying around: the great Unicredit Tower, Corso Como, Porta Garibaldi… all of this points are in Isola! So keep the itinerary in mind, because after finishing your segway night tour you definitely will want to go back, inhale some fresh and green air and…  go for a hip mojito in town!