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As balconies bristle with tree branches and sunshine dapples the leaves of thousands of plants, two apartment buildings in the heart of Milan have almost disappeared under lush forest. The brainchild of Milanese architect Stefano Boeri, the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) uses more than 20,000 trees and plants to adorn the high-rise buildings from top to bottom – a project now being exported all over the world.Boeri worked closely with botanists to create a nursery of a thousand trees that have been trained to grow under specific conditions.The team faced numerous challenges, from how the balconies should be structured to take the weight of the plants, to how to secure the tree roots and what needed to go into the soil.The architect has not patented the Vertical Forest and has even written a book revealing the secrets and techniques behind it, which he hopes will encourage a new, greener way of developing cities.
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