The Bosco Verticale (or ‘vertical forest’) is one of the most innovative designs I have seen. It is an example of modern cutting edge construction with an awareness of environmental preservation. It is foresight for the future; it is the future.

After getting up at 4.30am and planning my trip to Milan, I had picked some must-see landmarks. I have been told by many of the Italians I have spoken with that they do not like Milano as much as the other cities. I’ve been told that it does not compare to the wonderful statues, sculptures, fountains, colosseums and historythat Florence and Rome have to offer. Milano is more modern, and, to them, it does not offer the same elegance as Italy’s other major cities. I still felt it would be an interesting visit and worth the investment of the hefty 112 euro train fare.

It takes only 15 minutes to get off at the Milano Centrale and take the underground to the heart of the city. Emerging from the subway brings you to the beautiful Piazza Del Duomo and theĀ Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.

Piazza Del Duomo (Catholic Church)

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II (Shopping centre)

Then, there is a 34 minute walk to Bosco Verticale.

I rarely become completely star struck but the masterclass in planting, the innovation, and the logistical triumph of the Bosco Verticale is outstanding.

Hedra helix (ivy) and weeping Salvia rosmarinus (a new name for rosemary) are chosen to trail down the building while shade tolerant plants are used on the less exposed side. A total of 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 ‘floral shrubs’ are planted in the two buildings. The smaller building is 76 metres tall with 18 floors while the larger is 111 metres with 26 floors.

I went into the building to try to wrangle a peek from inside the apartment. I have now been living in Italy for 7 weeks and can fluently embarrass myself in Italian. The security guard/ receptionist was sitting down when I burst in with my excitement brimming over.

At 20,000 euros per month or 2 million for an apartment we were soon laughing about not quite being on the waiting list for the building yet. It is home to some of the Italian league’s football superstars after all. Sadly, my smooth Italian couldn’t get me a glimpse of the rooms. However, he did point to the awards on the desk and told me some of the history behind the buildings including winning the prize for Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2015.

I hope this inspires other architects, city planners, and horticulturists to look for more environmentally friendly ways – some of the planting was even specific to bird life – to update urban habitats. Innovation like these green walls and green roofs are a necessary step forward in preserving a better global future. These are also aspects which RBGE strive for, like renewability, carbon footprint, environmental conservation .