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39 Insanely Cool Vertical Gardens

Welcome to the green future. These aren't your grandmother's window boxes.

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1. Bosco Verticale

Via inhabitat.com

This rendering by architect Stefano Boeri features the first urban vertical forest, Bosco Verticale in Milan.

The pair of apartment skyscrapers are built to sustain the equivalent of 2.5 acres of forest extending towards the sky.

treehugger.com

The soon-to-be-completed towers feature cantilevered balconies, wind and solar systems, and greywater recycling systems that irrigate the 5,000 shrubs, 480 big and medium size trees, 250 small size trees, and 11,000 ground-cover plants chosen for the project.

2. The "Tower Flower"

Paul Raftery

The "Tower Flower," designed and built by architect Edouard Francois in Paris's 17th arrondissement, contains 380 giant concrete flower pots embedded in each of the apartment building's balconies.

4. The Stairscraper: "A Desert Green"

Via designboom.com

The "Stairscraper" was a winning design by Barcelona-based architect Nabito in the Total Housing Competition. The "horizontal landscape city," reportedly scheduled for completion in Abu Dhabi in 2015, will allow each apartment to have its own balcony and roof garden.

5. Living Wall at the Birmingham NEC

Via bluestemnursery.blogspot.com

This wall at the LG Arena in Birmingham features a "compost modular system" built into a steel sub structure. Check out the full project gallery created by the UK's "preeminent supplier of Living Walls."

6. Living Wall at Westfield Shopping Centre

Via scotscapelivingwalls.net

This living wall in Shepherds Bush is the largest "Living Wall" in Europe. It features a fully automatic zoned irrigation and rainwater harvesting system.

8. Edgware Road Installation

Via scotscapelivingwalls.net

This living wall at Edgware Road tube station is an experimental installation measuring how efficiently such walls reduce PM10s (particulate matter) from the atmosphere, which is a respiratory hazard.

10. Phyto Universe

Via verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com

The Phyto Universe hair-care center on Lexington Avenue was New York's first vertical garden. Created in 2006 by Patrick Blanc, a scientist from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and Engineer Laurent Corradi, the garden covers 2,900 square feet and includes 9,000 species.

11. Le Mur Vegetal at the Musée du quai Branly

Via verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com

Le Mur Vegetal (or "Vertical Garden") by Patrick Blanc in Paris. Blanc is known as the father of the vertical garden, through which he combines artistry and botany to accomplish astonishing transformations of urban spaces.

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