Architecture and Urban Forestry

Yibo Xu
China Partner
Stefano Boeri Architetti, Shanghai

The crucial questions that concern humanity, the ones that can no longer be evaded, are extreme poverty and the environment. Tackling them means trying to come up with responses to the difficult challenges of this age: the integration of the new urban populations, the redistribution of wealth, and the effect of climate change on living conditions and our survival. Policies on cities, on metropolises, and on the urban condition planet-wide are crucial, and today should be the responsibility of all of us, and need to involve everyone. Our role as architects is to act as sensors of the future, anticipating what will happen and helping to formulate responses and solutions. It is also our duty to tempt the present with our ideas and our designs, and in a way, nudge it into revealing its potentialities, its futures.

If we start from the fact that cities produce 75 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted and forests by themselves absorb about 35 percent of it, it becomes clear why the presence of woods in the city is now indispensable. Among the policies that go hand-in-hand with the theme of urban forestation, there are several approaches. The first is the possibility of applying grafts of biodiversity in the city, as was done with the experiment of the Vertical Forest (Bosco Verticale) in Milan. Bosco Verticale is a prototype that has allowed us to adjust our way of seeing things, based on a study of the behavior of the residents, the vegetation and the building, in order to propose an improved version of the same solution in other situations, which are also explored in this presentation.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation