The reconnection of the city with nature begins to take shape in the collective imagination of more and more cities. The bucolic image of futuristic cities immersed in a vegetal blanket, typical of science fiction cinema, has also occupied space in the heads of many architecture studios.

Fictional architecture has contributed to imagining long skyscrapers integrated into vast tropical jungles. Beyond the suggestive projects, models or 3D maps of futuristic gurus, we can find real-life examples of buildings that integrate that vision. Perhaps one of the most recognized are the two Milanese towers called Bosco Verticale.

Stefano Boeri, a Milanese urban architect, is the founder of Stefano Boeri Architetti, the studio behind this architectural work. The towers were inaugurated in 2014 with the dual objective of increasing the biodiversity of the Lombard capital and making the building itself more energy efficient. The vegetated façades allow the generation of a microclimate that reduces the city’s heat island effect on the outside and the building’s energy consumption on the inside.

Between the two towers they have more than two thousand plant species from the three strata. Herbs, shrubs and even trees hang and grow from the windows and balconies, turning the two buildings into veritable vertical forests. Bosco Verticale is one of the most characteristic examples of green building and Boeri’s studio is one of the most renowned in urban naturalization.

Stefano Boeri Architetti already has a new horizon: the urban plan of Liuzhou (China). Although several Chinese cities have been interested in the Bosco Verticale project, only Liuzhou will be the one to take this to another scale. Shanghai or Chongquing will build green skyscrapers, but the city that bathes the Liujiang River wants to go further. To this end, in 2017 it approved an urban plan entrusted to Boeri. Said plan contemplates the construction of seventy green buildings, covering a total of 175 hectares that will accommodate up to 30,000 new people.

We have spent decades dreaming of cities, not only sustainable, but also literally green. The benefits of naturalization in urban settings are already widely recognized. Now is the time to follow the Boeri example and start naturalizing our buildings and cities.