A vertical forest is expected to be completed this year in Milan. There are two tower apartment complexes which contain a total of 400 residential units. The facade of the buildings will be covered with 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 perennial plants. It is expected to have the same ecological impact as 10,000 square meters of forest.
Aside from fighting smog and producing oxygen, the foliage is expected to provide insulation to the residential units.
It’ll be really cool to see how these trees grow in order to maximize access to sun, water, and nutrients. Also, a step towards a sci-fi solar punk future – I’m in.
I sure hope the structural engineers planned for the buildings to increase in mass as the trees grow.
Well, or else for maintenance labor to keep the trees rigorously trimmed to prevent too much increase in mass. Or both? (The wikipedia article says the engineering team consulted botanists and horticulturists in planning how much weight the buildings could bear, so it seems likely that the fact that trees grow would have come up.)
This is a pretty cool idea regardless and I hope they get it right. I wonder if anyone will do anything like this in New York.
This falls in the “I really hope they do it but I’ll believe it when I see it” category for me.
It’s been up for 2 years, inaugurated in October 2014, and still going strong. It’s won multiple awards.
How many connections does America’s space program have with the fictional world of Star Wars? More than you might think…
Join us as we highlight a few of the real-world TIE-ins between us and Star Wars:
Lasers in space sounds like something straight out of Star Wars, but it’s also a reality for us. Our own GEDI (yes, like Jedi) instrument will launch later this year to the International Space Station.
With GEDI’s new tree maps, we’ll get a better understanding of how much carbon is stored in forests all over Earth, and how forests will be able to absorb increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The Jedi knights may help protect a galaxy far, far away, but our GEDI will help us study and understand forest changes right here on Earth.
There’s another Jedi in town and it happens to be orbiting the planet Jupiter. Our Juno spacecraft, which arrived at the gas giant in July 2016, has an instrument on board that goes by the name of JEDI – the Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instrument.
While it doesn’t use a light saber or channel “the force”, it does measure high-energy particles near Jupiter. Data collected with the JEDI instrument will help us understand how the energy of Jupiter’s rotation is being funneled into its atmosphere and magnetosphere.
Death Star Moon
We know what you’re thinking…”That’s no moon.” But actually, it is! This is a real picture taken by our Cassini spacecraft of Saturn’s moon Mimas. In this view taken on Cassini’s closest-ever flyby of Mimas, the large Herschel Crater dominates, making the moon look like the Death Star. Herschel Crater is 130 kilometers, or 80 miles, wide and covers most of the right of this image.
We Actually Do Have the Droids You’re Looking For
We have robots roving and exploring all over the solar system, but it’s our own “R2” that’s most likely to resonate with Star Wars fans. Robonaut 2, launched in 2011, is working along side humans on board the International Space Station, and may eventually help with spacewalks too dangerous for humans. Incidentally, an earlier version of Robonaut bore a strong “facial” resemblance to enigmatic bounty hunter Boba Fett.
Another “droid” seen on the space station was directly inspired by the saga. In 1999, then Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor David Miller, showed the original 1977 Star Wars to his students on their first day of class. After the scene where hero Luke Skywalker learns lightsaber skills by sparring with a floating droid “remotes” on the Millennium Falcon, Miller stood up and pointed: “I want you to build me some of those.”
The “TIE-ins” go beyond casual resemblance to real engineering. We already use actual ion engines (“TIE” stands for “Twin Ion Engines”) on spacecraft like Dawn, currently orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres. In fact, Dawn goes one better with three ion engines.
Want more Star Wars connections? Check out THIS Tumblr to learn about the REAL planets we’ve found outside our solar system that resemble planets from the movie.
Take THIS quiz to see if you know more about the Milky Way galaxy or a galaxy far, far away.