Bosco Verticale, woodlot on balconies (part 2)


The climate of Milano is w-a-a-a-a-a-y milder than Ottawa. There, the temperature rarely dips below 0 Celsius, and only for a few days in January. Milan is classified as a sub tropical climate, with abundant rainfall year round. So, don’t expect similar forested condos in Ottawa until global warming continues for a long time.


Wind is a factor in any high rise forest, just like it is for trees growing on mountainsides. The Bosco stabilizes its trees with vertical guywires. Enlarge the photos to see the wires. The trees have seatbelts too.


Trees planted in the Somerset Street planters near the OTrain are also subject to winds, and the tree root balls are stabilized with under-soil seat belts so they won’t blow over.


The undersides of the balconies are beautifully finished in white. They are an element of one’s (expensive) view from the units. A remarkable contrast to the raw concrete undersides we enjoy here in Canada. I did not see any evidence of water staining, so the surplus water must be captured and carefully disposed of.



Not all the plants looked happy. Some had died, and some had been replaced. Careful inspection of the trees reveals severe pruning, almost pollarding, of the trees before they are hoisted up in their planter baskets for installation. I wonder about the ongoing maintenance costs of vertical gardening … maybe that is why each tower appeared to have a permanent crane on top.


There were trees on all four sides of the building, including the north. Presumably there is enough light for the plants to live if not thrive. In addition to the glorious trees, a lot of the green-look was veils cast by draping vines, some of which hung two stories down. These shade the building, and the inhabitants, which is cited as a benefit, but they also modify or block the view.


For the technically inclined, here are some edu-panels from the site. It rains a lot in Milan, so I expect a major portion of the irrigation could be from rainfall collected on the roof:

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next: the base of the bosco