Vertical Forests Arrive in Toronto

Sophia Dingmon, Editor

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In Toronto, Canada, Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects has proposed the idea to build a “Vertical Forest”–a 27-story condo in the downtown core of Toronto. The structure would slope towards its peak, showing off over 500 trees planted on giant terraces. They say the vegetation would not only serve decorative purposes, but also fundamental purposes.

The location of Canada’s first “Vertical Forest” is on Designers Walk, an upscale neighborhood with a commercialized area. Supporters say the building would have the potential to change the way millions of citizens live and their mental health.

Brian Brisbin, principal of the Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects, says, “People who live in these buildings feel a connection to nature. Being surrounded by trees in an oxygen-producing environment has a dramatic effect on overall wellness and happiness.”

According to U.N., over half of the world’s population, or 55%, lives in urban areas, but the number is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. Because of the population, construction progress has been rapid, causing ‘green areas’ to become ‘silver areas’ such as buildings of work places or homes. The loss of trees and plants can have a major negative impacts on the living conditions, climate, and quality of air.

Italian architect, Stefano Boeri, first created the “Vertical Forest” in 2009-2014. The innovative idea led to the buildings having geothermal heating systems, and many other energy-efficient qualities. The 360 and 250 feet structures held 4,500 shrubs, 800 trees, and 15,000 other plants; They were all homes to hundreds of birds and countless insects such as bees.

Brian Brisbin’s team includes architects, foresters, landscapers and a developer. They all eagerly anticipate the city will give the project final approval next summer. Brisbin says, “…Everything is ready to go.”

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