Stefano Boeri "Vertical Forest"

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A pair of skyscrapers by Milan office Boeri Studio are nearing completion in the Italian city, featuring as many trees as could be planted in a hectare of forest.The studio led by Italian architect Stefano 

Boeri came up with the concept of Bosco Verticale, or Vertical Forest, as a way to combine high-density residential development with tree planting in city centres. The first project born from this concept is now nearing completion in the Isola area of Milan's fast-developing Porta Nuova district. Two towers, measuring 80 and 112 metres, are set to open later this year and are already home to 900 trees."The project is set to create a new standard for sustainable housing," said engineering firm Arup, who is working alongside Boeri Studio to deliver the project. "As a new growth model for the regeneration of the urban environment, the design creates a biological habitat in a total area of 40,000 square metres."A mixture of large and small trees have been planted on balconies on all four sides of the towers, accompanied by 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 floral plants. The design team claim these will absorb dust in the air, helping to depollute the city. "This is a kind of biological architecture that refuses to adopt a strictly technological and mechanical approach to environmental sustainability," said Boeri Studio in a statement. The diverse vegetation will provide urban habitats for birds and insects, and will also create a humid micro-climate that produces oxygen whilst shading residences from harsh sunlight. "The creation of a number of vertical forests in the city will be able to create a network of environmental corridors which will give life to the main parks in the city, bringing the green space of avenues and gardens and connecting various spaces of spontaneous vegetation growth," said the studio.