Solutions to Urban Sprawl

There seems to be two ways in which to cope with the increasing urban population – to build up, and to build down.

By the end of 2012 Milan will be home to the world’s first truly vertical urban forest.  With a budget of 65 million Euros, this will hopefully be a blueprint for the cities of the future. Bosco Verticale, the brainchild of Italian architect, Stefano Boeri who has devised a green, twin tower solution to urban deforestation.

Spanning the equivalent to a hectare, the 27 storeys will house 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 ground plants. Not surprisingly green city living does not come cheap with the apartments ranging from £560,000 for a small low level one to £1.7 million for the penthouse.

Whilst Europe looks skyward, the Far East continue research into their programme of subterranean developments in Alice City, Tokyo which could be extended into a network of Alice Cities across Japan. As the last acre of land in Tokyo sold for $7.8 BILLION the Taisei Corporation realised it was now commercially viable to create a subterranean solution to earthquake proof living space for an increasing population. Comprising Town Space, Office Space and Infrastructure Space with solar domes, one could lead a complete life underground.  Similarly, the Shimizu Corporation have put forth proposals of a Urban Geo Grid System that networks far smaller underground hubs by means of tunnels.

Regardless of whichever strategy is deployed it now seems inevitable that humans are seeking alternative methods of survival in a unpredictable environment.

Photo by Nadine Feghaly