Just this afternoon I was watching RAI3 TV show Kilimangaro featuring Stefano Boeri, a renowned Italian architect. Boeri is the mastermind behind the wave of modern green buildings scattered around the globe. Chicago, Milan, Cairo, Mumbai, Beijing and Jakarta are just some of the countries where such buildings were erected.
The need for improved urban areas is finally being felt by many Maltese people who realise how fresher it feels when spaces are greener. Many of us travel frequently and it’s only natural to admit how much hotter it feels in Maltese urban areas.
Lower temperatures and improved recreational spaces are two of the many benefits offered by vegetation. Adding plants to buildings can also tackle the much discussed climate change. Lack of shade and poor insulation are encouraging the use of more electricity for heating and cooling, to ensure comfortable indoor living.
Architecture and forestry can go hand in hand. Although many of us Maltese may not be in favour with high rise buildings, principles from this type of planning can be adapted to smaller apartment blocks. All plants need room where to grow and depth to provide anchorage for roots. Creating larger and stronger balconies and roofs can allow buildings to support plant growth.
I have studied plants from an early age and still believe that greening the concrete jungle we live in, is possible. It’s a matter of vision, will power, collaboration, research, expertise and last but not least progressive policies. A good dose of architecture, horticulture and entrepreneurship would make a radical improvement in our urban dwellings.
Sources of Photos
Stefano Boeri Architetti