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A Vertical Forest

Krystal Paisley

October 7, 2015

What happens when a city runs out of green space on the ground? Don’t build out…build up!


Bosco Verticale does just that. Located in Milan, Italy, Bosco Verticale is the world’s first vertical forest. The pair of residential towers, whose name translates to “vertical forest,” are filled with trees, shrubs, and other greenery. The two buildings are home to:

  • 900 trees
  • 5,000 shrubs
  • 11,000 perennials
  • Groundcover


If the same entire biological habitat was developed on the ground, it would total 430,556 square feet! To put that into perspective, that is more than seven football fields of biological habitat!


A diverse set of plants was selected to ensure the most benefit to the residents and the city.


In addition to providing a much-needed green space for residents, Bosco Verticale also improves the city through:

  • Filtering pollution and reducing smog
  • Reducing dust particles in the air
  • Absorbing CO2 and producing clean oxygen
  • Creating natural sound absorption, reducing noise pollution to the building
  • Saving energy by sheltering the building from solar radiation in the summer
  • Reducing rainwater run-off
  • An urban ecosystem for birds and insects

Mindful Engineering

The 26 floor and 18 floor towers were engineered to ensure the structures could handle the load from the plants and include steel-reinforced concrete balconies. The design was also tested in a wind tunnel to ensure trees would withstand strong gusts of wind. The team of architects, engineers, horticulturists, and botanists collaborated to make this vertical forest come to life.


This is one of the many ways cities are incorporating green in their environment. Have you seen green space incorporated in an urban environment? Share your experiences in the comments.


Considering green in your next project? Whether it’s an architecture, water, or transportation project, the ms sustainability experts can identify your sustainable and cost effective opportunities and solutions. Contact us at to get started!


Photo Credits:
Luca Nebuloni;; Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0);
Mishkabear;; Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0);
Forgemind ArchiMedia;; Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0);