What are vertical forests and where can they be found?

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While there is so much to be delighted and amazed by in the modern era, there are some sad realities. The expansion of cities is having a detrimental impact on the environment. We continue to remove nature and allow our concrete world to expand further and further. Left unchecked these developments will slowly kill our planet. It is a strange thing to consider but Earth is dying and unless we dramatically change our views on development, living and expansion it will continue. One of the most interesting ideas to stem the problem is the idea of the vertical forest. 

In many cities, there is simply no space left to plant trees or plants. Every part of the modern metropolis has either streets or buildings. The idea of the vertical forest is to take many of these buildings and make them a lot greener. In essence, it means using the walls and roofs of these large units to house many trees and plants. While most are still only ideas under development a number are already in place. 

In the city of Milan in Italy there are two towers that have been the home to a vertical forest since 2014. They are called Bosco Verticale and from a quick glance appear like buildings that have been badly looked after and overtaken by nature. In reality, they are incredibly well looked after to allow both people and nature to live in harmony. While the environmental benefits of installations like this are clear there are also benefits to those living in the apartments. The plants are useful for blocking outside noise and help to keep temperatures at a steady enjoyable rate. This brings down the cost of living in the apartment.

A museum in Marid, Spain has made one entire wall that is four stories tall the home to a vertical forest. The wall is covered with 15,000 plants varying across 250 species. The Caixa Forum Museum is the home of this amazing wall and if nothing else it is just beautiful to see. It is just a plus that it is incredibly good for the environment and a visible lesson for all who pass by.

While Europe has led the charge there are vertical forests popping up in Asia too. In Singapore, one hotel aptly named The Oasia is located in the concrete desert of the business district of Singapore. Lying inside is this environmental oasis with lush green forested walls. In Malaysia too there are two towers in the center of Kuala Lumpur city that really stand out. Le Nouvel towers add some incredible nature to the ugly grays that dominate the city. Singapore and KL are two of the largest and fastest-growing cities in the world. This leading example is great to witness.

While these buildings are great to see there are more ambitious plans in place. There is a concept to turn Cancun into a living city. This would mean forest everywhere that you can see not just on the occasional tall building. The city of Cancun is nearly 600 hectares and one plan argues that it could be altered to house 130,000 people and be a living forest. The concepts are beautiful to look at as everywhere you look is green. The city is covered in walls of green, and waters that run through it all. 

Whether concepts currently in place can become a reality all depend on how people view this problem. If people start to take the environmental situation we are in more seriously they may realize there is no alternative than to embrace a greener way of living.