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six ideas for a biodiversity metropolis

six transitional states between city, nature and agricultur

six energies for a new model of urban economyBiomilano

Expo 2015: a global kitchen garden*

(from natural to agricultural)

The Expo 2015 project will create a vast global kitchen garden in an unused area to the northwest of Milan. Instead of the traditional national pavilions, each country invited to the expo will have a section of land on which to grow things, where it can display forms of bio-diversity, technologies, and possible solutions to problems linked to food and its supply. On the southern part of the site, big hot (and cold) houses will host plants and show off agricultural products linked to the world’s more extreme climates. After the Expo, Milan will be left with a large area which will be used to carry out research into the production and the representation of different forms of agriculture, seeding and food production. This will be the world’s first Agro-nutritional Scientific Park.

*Expo 2015 Concept-plan is a project by Architectural Advisory Board (Stefano Boeri, Joan Busquets, Richard Burdett, Jacques Herzog, William McDonough). The Legal master-plan is a project by Ufficio di Piano di Società Expo S.p.A, with the consultanting of Architectural Advisory Board, Politecnico di Milano and Facoltà di Agraria University of Milan. [2009 – on going]

Metrobosco: a forest around milan*

(from rural to natural)

The Metrobosco project, which has already begun to be put into operation, aims to develop a large circle of forests and woods around Milan which will provide more space for those non-domestic animals which live in or pass through the Milanese plain. This large, new, wood will bring together those existing parks which surround the city, as well as agricultural areas, courtyard farms and villages. This forest will only be partially accessible to man, and the idea is that nature will be allowed to express itself autonomously, in areas which are now used only for single forms of agriculture. The Metrobosco plan allows for the planting of 3 million new trees, a project financed by the towns around the city, and which will be made possible by farmers who choose to give up their land to the project, local businesses and forms of compensation. More than 300,000 trees have been planted in this way in the last two years.

*Metrobosco is an experimental project in the Strategic Plan by the Province of Milan edited by multiplicity.lab, research laboratory of DiAP, Politecnico di Milano. [2006 – 2009]

Vertical Forest: a tower with 1500 trees*

( from urban to natural)

The Vertical Forest project aims to build high-density residential towers which contain trees within the built city. The first example of this kind of project is currently being built in the Garibaldi Repubblica area of Milan with two tower block of 85 and 110 metres respectively, which can hold 1200 trees of between 3 and 9 metres in height (more or less one hectare of woodland) and which aims to create, within the city itself, new links to the natural world (like those normally seen in an area of 5 hectares of family homes with gardens). The project allows for balconies which can carry high quantities of soil, watering systems which use rainwater and a centralised management of the vegetation across the tower.

The Vertical Forest is linked to architectural concepts which aim to demineralise urban space using the changing forms of leaves for its façade and a vegetal screen to filter out dangerous dust particles in the air, in order to create an adequate micro-climate where sun can also be filtered naturally. This is a form of biological architecture, which rejects a merely technological approach to environmental sustainability.

*The Vertical Forest is a project by Boeristudio (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca, Giovanni La Varra). [2007 – on going]

Wood house: social housing and the tree cycle*

(from natural to urban)

The Wood House project attempts to use new ideas about the recycling of materials in order to build low density and low cost housing by exploiting the full cycle of wood growth and produc- tion. The prefabricated forms used in the Wood House project are built by Lombard companies by assembling wooden panels taken during maintenance work on the forest areas which run along the Ticino River.

The flexibility of the project allows for different forms to be adapted to the needs of the users. The first examples of Wood Houses will be in Milan, close to Lambro Park and in the Navigli.

*The Wood House is a project by Stefano Boeri Architetti and Camillo Agnoletto. [2009-2010]

Urban agriculture: biological and plant decontamination of polluted urban areas*

(from infrastructure to rural)

The vegetal and biological cleaning-up of ex-industrial or infrastructural land allows for the creation of the possibility for new buildings or green urban public space. Through the cultiva- tion of polluted land, a kind of biological cleaning takes place, with the production of bio-masses, and thus the city can regain the use of land which it had previously been unable to use. This project, part of a research project by Chiara Geroldi, uses biological clean-up methods in the area of the ex goods yard of Porta Romana in Milan. The long process of abandonment after the area’s industrial activity ended has allowed for slow and balanced strategies of decontamination to be put into place.

*Final degree researchMisfit agriculture and urban decontaminations” by Chiara Geroldi (supervisor Stefano Boeri, co-supervisors Matteo Poli, Carlo Ostorero). Politecnico di Milano, Facoltà di Architettura e Società, Corso di laurea in Landscape Architecture [A.A. 2009/2010]

Courtyard farms: a constellation of epicentres within systems of neighbourhood agriculture*

( from rural to urban-rural)

The project for the restoration of 60 publicly owned and abandoned courtyard farms around Milan has its origins in the plan to create a new relationship between the city and new forms

of agriculture. This kind of agriculture is more varied than in the past (fruit and vegetables, cereal crops, productive woods, bio-mass) – as in other areas of Italy such as around Rome and in Apulia – and produces for the city as well as allowing for different kinds of research, training and work. This project will occur alongside the development of those themes linked to the 2015 expo ad right across the vast area occupied by the city and hinterland of Milan.

*Cascine Expo 2015 is a project edited by multiplicity.lab, research laboratory of DiAP, Politecnico di Milano, with the collaboration of Coldiretti, Consorzio Sir, Slow Food, Vita, promoted by Centro Studi PIM within the frame of its institutional activity in favour of the Municipality of Milan. [2009]