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Vertical forest a sustainable residential building solution

Updated: Jul 28, 2020

By Maria Scott

The Italian architect Stefano Boeri won the competition to design a "vertical forest" in the centre of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Boeri's 'wonderwood' project will consist of a stepped tower covered in 10,000 plants and trees. At 90 meters high the "vertical forest" will accommodate about 200 apartments. The building alone, close to Utrecht Central railway station, will also host 360 trees and 9,640 shrubs and flowers, equal to 1 hectare (2.47 acres) of woods, once it is completed in 2023. What a green inspiration!

Why an urban forest is important and needed? More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and urban trees are critical to human health and well-being. trees absorb CO₂ during photosynthesis, which is then metabolised and turned into organic matter that makes up nearly half of their overall mass. Urban trees are particularly effective at absorbing CO₂, because they are located so close to sources such as fossil fuel-burning transport and industrial activity. Trees provide shade, mitigate floods, absorb carbon dioxide (CO₂), filter air pollution, and provide habitats for birds, mammals, and other plants.

We should campaign to multiply the presence of vertical forests and trees in our Shepherds Bush.

Boeri's major actions:

– protect and increase permeable and green surfaces in our council,

– create new parks and gardens,

– transform city roofs into lawns and vegetable gardens,

– transform perimeter walls and urban barriers into green façades,

– transform urban voids and courtyards into a green oasis,

– promote community gardens and implement urban agriculture,

– use tree roots to decontaminate polluted soils,

– create a network of green corridors (tree-lined avenues, street trees…) to connect parks, forests, and green buildings,

– multiply the number of green buildings and vertical forests,

– create new orbital forests and woodlands all around our city

-what is your action?

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