Milan, like every city in the world, today, is at a crossroads. It can continue growing by eating up agricultural land, woods, natural space, and thus reducing biodiversity and the space available to other species. Or it can choose to become a bio-diverse metropolis, starting with a new agreement between the city, the natural world and agriculture.
Biomilano illustrates six ideas for a biodiversity metropolis, six transitional stages to the city, nature and agriculture, for a new model of urban economy: six projects from different professional and research experiences, such as Boeri’s Studio, multiplicity.lab and thesis by students. Global Kitchen Garden for EXPO 2015 will produce food for a cosmopolitan society; Metrobosco will create a reforestation zone around Milan to be inhabited by non domestic animal species; Vertical Forest will use a screen of plants to absorb particulates and create a suitable microclimate; the Wood House project intends to build low density and low cost community housing by exploiting wood and its entire supply chain; Urban Agriculture will reclaim industrial land and obsolete infrastructures to create new settlements and public park areas; Courtyard Farms will be reclaiming 60 abandoned council-owned farmhouses in the Milan area, adapting them to yield a range of different produce and provide research opportunities, training and work.
Stefano Boeri, born 1956, is a Milan-based architect and Professor of Urban Design at the Milan Polytechnic, where he runs multiplicity.lab. From 2004 to 2007 he was editor-in-chief of “Domus” magazine and, since September 2007, of the international magazine “Abitare”. Stefano Boeri Architetti’s work focuses largely on the design of buildings and open spaces for European urban areas requiring regeneration or redevelopment. With Richard Burdett, Jacques Herzog and William MacDonough, Boeri were appointed to the Architecture Advisory Board in charge of developing the Concept Masterplan of the 2015 Milan Expo.