Dubai smart city: Stefano Boeri's vertical forest is coming

The Milanese archistar presented an urban forestry project that will see the light in the Emirates at the UN COP27 conference in Sharm

A detail of the Dubai Vertical Forest, which will host over 27 trees that will work together to reduce pollution and promote an ideal microclimate (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)
A detail of the Dubai Vertical Forest, which will host over 27 trees that will work together to reduce pollution and promote an ideal microclimate (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)

Una vertical urban forest in dubai: this is the ambitious project presented by Stefano Boeri Architects during COP27, held from 6 to 18 November in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt. The prestigious Milanese architecture firm actively participated in the work of the UN Conference of the Parties by proposing the construction of two towers that follow the iconic and award-winning buildings which, for almost ten years now, have embellished the skyline of the Lombard capital. However, this is not the first project that takes the Milanese vertical forest as a model. Over the years, in fact, several "vegetable" towers have been built all over the world: from Trudo Vertical Forest in Eindhoven toEasyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex in China, Boeri's intuition has found fertile ground in many cities, eager to become greener and more resilient.

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Bosco Verticale: the vertical forest of Milan, a residential architectural work that has changed the skyline of the Lombard capital, paving the way for vertical forests that, year after year, conquer more and more cities around the world (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)
The Vertical Forest of Milan, a residential architectural work that has changed the skyline of the Lombard capital, paving the way for vertical forests that, year after year, conquer more and more cities around the world (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)

The first prototype conceived for the MENA area

The peculiarity of the idea presented in Sharm el-Sheik, however, lies in the area where the Boeri jewel. Indeed, as stated by the Milanese study, “the project, commissioned by Impact One, represents the first vertical forest prototype for the MENA area (Middle East and North Africa) with the aim of integrating the benefits of urban forestry - such as the absorption of fine dust, the regulation of microclimate and the reduction of the greenhouse effect, together with innovations in the management of the water system in arid climates and the optimization of the production of energy from renewable sources.” In this sense the Vertical Forest of Dubai it will not only be beautiful to look at, but will be adapted to the desert and arid context in which it was conceived: it is an excellent example of the concept of adaptation and mitigation, which is one of the most concrete responses to the fight against climate change.

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Bosco Verticale: a detail of the Bosco Verticale model in Dubai, the first of its kind within the MENA area of ​​the world, i.e. the region that extends from Morocco to the west, crosses the north-western belt of Africa and continues towards Iran in South West Asia (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)
A detail of the Dubai Vertical Forest model, the first of its kind within the MENA area of ​​the world, i.e. the region that extends from Morocco to the west, crosses the north-western belt of Africa and continues towards the 'Iran in South West Asia (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)

The concrete realization of the project

Il vertical forest of Boeri in Dubai it will be contracted through the construction of two different towers, respectively 190 and 150 meters high. However, the real protagonists will be the facades of the buildings which, overall, will host 2640 trees and 27600 shrubs connected to a complex system of greenhouses and hydroponic gardens, essential for making this incredible vegetable universe thrive. In short, the idea of ​​the vertical forest travels the world and conquers completely different landscapes. And this shouldn't be surprising, because the vegetable buildings fully fall within the concept di Urban Forestry to whom Studio Boeri Architects dedicated a poster which becomes a declaration of intent.

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The Guinigi tower in Lucca, with its holm oak trees on the top, was a real forerunner of the vertical forest

Urban forestation changes the face of cities

Il Boeri poster it becomes both a statement of intent and a programmatic approach. Cities, as stated in the document published on the architectural firm's website, will host 2030% of the world's population by 60. And it is necessary to take measures because, already today, urban agglomerations and metropolises consume 75% of natural resources, also becoming responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions. In the era of the climate crisis, cities must become part of the solution to the problem. The urban forestry it's a great one way to mitigate many of the problems cities suffer from today: pollution, high levels of carbon dioxide, energy consumption, lack of biodiversity and increase in atmospheric temperature. Boeri's campaign aims to spread Urban Forestry, necessary to multiply the presence of forests and trees in cities around the world.

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A detail of the Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex, built in the Hubei province in China. It is composed of five towers 80 meters high, characterized by the presence of open and closed balconies. The buildings host 404 trees, 4620 shrubs and 2408 mXNUMX of perennials (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)
A detail of the Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex, built in the Hubei province in China. It is composed of five towers 80 meters high, characterized by the presence of open and closed balconies. The buildings host 404 trees, 4620 shrubs and 2408 mXNUMX of perennials (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)

A vertical forest in the middle of the desert?

La dubai challenge it's great, but it's proof that innovation and technology can do a lot to fight the climate crisis, even in areas characterized by the presence of an arid climate. As we read in the press release released by Boeri's studio "Great attention in this project was given to the management of the water cycle - through desalination processes and the recovery of gray water - as well as to energy from renewable sources, thanks to the photovoltaic surfaces which will be able to produce 5100 kWh of energy clean, stored with a system of hydrogen batteries which will also feed the processes linked to the building's water cycle. Among other aspects, research is underway aimed at identifying construction technologies, materials and strategies for optimizing the water cycle and waste management to transform them into useful resources to ensure the sustainability of the building's life cycle".

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Stefano Boeri's urban forestry is unstoppable: there are many ongoing projects by the archistar, including Bosconavigli in Milan: a residential project located in the San Cristoforo district (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)
Stefano Boeri's urban forestry is unstoppable: there are many ongoing projects by the archistar, including Bosconavigli in Milan: a residential project located in the San Cristoforo district (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)

Boeri's second proposal at COP27

The creation of the vertical forest in Dubai is not the only project brought by Stefano Boeri Architetti to Sharm el-Sheik. Among the proposals presented, in fact, there is also the Declaration of San Marino, appeal signed by Stefano Boeri with Norman Foster and the Professional Orders at the 83rd session of the UNECE Committee. It's about a call to action aimed at architects, planners and builders for the building a greener and more resilient world. At the time of signing, Boeri himself commented: “architects and urban planners, at this moment in the history of the human species on the planet, have a fundamental responsibility: that of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption to a minimum, maximizing devices that capture renewable energies, integrating ever-increasing amounts of biological surfaces into buildings and plants, and adapt to a sustainable, electrified mobility model based on the public transport system. We will bring the Declaration of San Marino – signed today with Norman Foster – to COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh in November as an appeal to architects, committing ourselves to collect as many adhesions as possible".

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A detail of the Dubai Vertical Forest model, the first of its kind within the MENA area of ​​the world, i.e. the region that extends from Morocco to the west, crosses the north-western belt of Africa and continues towards the 'Iran in South West Asia (Photo: Stefano Boeri Architetti)

Beyond urban forestry, towards the green revolution

For Boeri, urban forestation takes the form of architecture, but many other points are touched upon in the manifesto drawn up by the Milanese starchitect's studio. Among the diktats listed in the programmatic manifesto, there is also the intent aimed at "protect and increase permeable and green surfaces in cities“. The urban revolution touches the green infrastructure, but it cannot be separated from those that man needs to move around and fully experience the city. Also there roads and pavements, in short, fully fall within the change the world expects. In particular, the roads that we all travel on a daily basis can be the subject of major renewal: not by chance that of ecological flooring, permeable and draining is a central point in the ever more concrete idea of smart city, the city of the future.

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Urban forestation, ecological infrastructures and environmentally friendly flooring are three sides of the same coin, that of the green revolution that will affect the cities of the future (Photo: Terra Solida)
Urban forestation, ecological infrastructures and environmentally friendly flooring are three sides of the same coin, that of the green revolution that will affect the cities of the future (Photo: Terra Solida)

Ecological but performing roads for the future

Because the concepts of mitigation and adaptation, in the city, also pass through natural roads, a link between public roads and sustainability. They respect the land without distorting it, meet the principle of hydraulic invariance, help mitigate the effect of heat islands, meet the principles of the circular economy and have less impact on the environment, also from the point of view of polluting emissions. AND Solid Earth, leader in the natural flooring sector, fully embraces this philosophy: has for years been committed to carrying out a mission capable of bringing together the needs of human beings with those of the Earth: ecological but high-performance roads which, using environmentally friendly technologies, aim to make our planet greener.

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Bosco Verticale: the Dubai model will have two towers that focus on the concept of urban reforestation. Great attention will be paid to the water cycle, thanks to which this precious resource will not be wasted
The model of the vertical forest in Dubai will have two towers that focus on the concept of urban reforestation. Great attention will be paid to the water cycle, thanks to which this precious resource will not be wasted (Forum: Studio Boeri Architetti)