An article on how vertical forests are an attempt to bring greenery back into the city, as well as all the benefits that would includes.
As many inhabitants of the world’s metropolitan hotspots know, space is a valuable commodity when it comes to cities. Property owners, developers, and residents fight over the right to their own space.
This often leads to hyper-efficiency, with every inch of city space being dedicated to a productive purpose. However, this leaves little room for the natural environment, which arguably comes second to commercial and residential space. Vertical forests are an attempt to bring greenery back into the city, as well as all the benefits it includes, such as better air quality, microclimate control, and stress relief.
First pitched by Stefano Boeri, vertical forests attempt to solve two metropolitan problems with a single, efficient solution. While metropolitan areas are well known for their lack of greenery and the environmental and psychological side effects that accompany it, vertical forests are unapologetically focused on bringing greenery back to the city.
The primary purpose of a vertical forest is to allow appropriate space for vegetation to grow. You may even be able to spot a vertical forest from the abundance of greenery that often spills over the sides of the building. Vertical forests are usually several stories high, allowing more space to be dedicated to its vegetation.
However, this does not mean the entire floor space of a vertical forest is dedicated to its plants. In fact, the first vertical forest in Italy retained ample room for residential space.
As the internal space of a building is often hostile to vegetation because of a lack of air circulation, light, and other important environmental factors, this space may be dedicated to humans.
Meanwhile, the space surrounding the building, such as balconies and terraces, is dedicated to vegetation. However, most vertical forests are designed in such a way as to create as much hospitable space as possible for vegetation.
Vertical forests were inspired by combining the concepts used in creating the first skyscrapers with ecological conservation initiatives.
Vertical forests were inspired by combining the concepts used in creating the first skyscrapers with ecological conservation initiatives. As vertical forests are the most efficient way of bringing greenery back to the city, architects and developers all over the world may use them to create a more friendly environment for both plants and people.
By allowing people to live more closely to vertical forests, such as within the same building, vertical forests make accessibility to greenery much more readily available. Aside from their efficient use of space, vertical forests also pose several advantages over traditional forests. When creating a vertical forest, developers, architects, or ecologists may select particular forms of vegetation and halt the growth of others.
For example, if a vertical forest is being established in an area that is prone to pests or invasive species, a developer can implement techniques to prevent this species from growing within their vertical forests.
However, in the case of traditional forests, this may be much more difficult to control. The developer may also focus on growing species that provide a better environment for local wildlife, such as birds, or may have a more sustainable impact in the area.
Instead of growing plants that absorb low quantities of carbon in the atmosphere, a developer may choose a plant that absorbs more carbon or simply a plant that may provide other benefits in the form of fruits or vegetables. With traditional forests, this proves more difficult, as spatial limitations mean that developers need to focus on vegetation that can be assured to grow consistently in the area.
As more and more people move to the city, rural areas are shrinking, and city centers are growing. This means accommodating more people, as well as ensuring that the environment within cities is conducive to healthy communities is essential.
When taking into consideration the fact that vertical forests make incorporating greenery into the city easier, more efficient, and more beneficial, it is not difficult to see why the popularity of vertical forests is exploding. Since the first vertical forest was built in Milan, various other vertical forests have popped up across the world.
This includes countries widely known for their dense populations, such as China and Singapore. Vertical forests are expected to become even more popular and widely adopted as they continue to change our view and experience of the modern city.
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