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Milan goes green with vertical forest

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Ivan Radford

Bosco Verticale - Milan's vertical forest tower

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Milan is one of the most polluted cities in Europe, but the city is going green with a stunning new development: the world’s first vertical forest.

Bosco Verticale is a 27-storey tower development in central Milan, featuring 900 trees incorporated into the structure, as well as thousands of other shrubs.

The plants are designed by architect Stefano Boeri to work as an oxygenator, filtering out the fumes from the city. But the green technology doesn’t stop there: heating will also be controlled naturally by the trees, which feed off the unwanted water from the block and provide shade during the summer, while energy will be generated by sunlight and wind.

Bosco Verticale, Milan tower farm
Stefano Boeri’s design includes 900 trees

The buildings will introduce 10,000 square metres of woodland to the city within a compact space. Architect Stefano Boeri conceived the project as a response to the lack of nature in city landscapes. Located in the Isola area of Milan, the residential blocks are 110m and 76m tall, according to, and if built as stand-alone units, would cover 50,000 square metres of land.

The buildings are currently under construction:

Inevitably, this green revolution comes at a cost. Apartments in Boeri’s bushscraper will start at €750,000 and range up to €1.2m for prime tree-house property. But buyers will no doubt be attracted by Bosco Verticale’s design and location – indeed, Italy remains the fifth most popular destination for house hunters, according’s Top of the Props.

The cost isn’t deterring other countries from following suit either, as Europe turns to real estate to reduce its pollution problems. Valencia has plans to construct Torre Huerta, a forest of tree-filled balconies and solar-powered energy, while Barcelona’s helical Stairscarper, which boasts gardens in each apartment roof, is scheduled for completion in 2015.

Barcelona stairscaper vertical forest
Barcelona’s answer to Bosco Verticale 
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Even London has seen proposals for a Farm Tower this year, as the Architecture Workshop in Rome launched a competition for the best agricultural and residential design.

As pollution and energy costs continue to hang in the Europe air, are vertical forests the way forward for overseas property? Or are developers barking up the wrong tree?

Looking to branch out into a second home?

Browse our tree-mendous listings of houses, apartments, and other overseas property: 

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