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Milan's New Library Of Trees Is A Giant Green Lung For The City

You'll get few arguments when it comes to declaring Milan as one of the most attractive tourist destinations on the planet. Now the city has upped the ante with the creation of an organic point of interest that doubles as an environmentally friendly recreational diversion.

Designed by the Dutch firm Inside Out/Petra Blaisse, the completed project is known as Biblioteca degli Alberi, which translates to Library of Trees. And the contents are entirely reflective of the moniker, with a slew of plant life consisting of more than 100 species of trees that are just a part of the layout of some 153,000 plants. It's more than an urban beautification endeavor, although the appearance of this leafy library certainly does wonders to make the city much more eye-friendly.

It's the final stage of a redevelopment to breath some variety and vitality into Milan's Porta Nuova district, a major business sector dominated by high-tech firms and skyscrapers, but otherwise short on green space. Biblioteca degli Alberi makes up for the shortfall with an area that also archives the botanical elements unique to Milan and the surrounding area.

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So far, most of the plants have yet to reach maturity, with many of the trees in a state of shrubbery, but the workforce in the area, as well as neighboring residents, are already taking to the park like an ecological haven. Younger families reportedly like the array of circular forest arrangements and contoured fields, intersected by up to three miles of bike paths and foot trails throughout the parkland area. Also included are places for children to play and for adults to do anything from meditation to picnicking, all in a spot that's just over a square mile in size, making it the third largest urban park in Milan.

It's also fittingly located next to Stefano Boeri's architectural creation, Bosco Vertical, or the Vertical Forest, which consists of two apartment skyscrapers consisting of balconies dominated by shrubbery from top to bottom. The park not only symbolizes Milan's need for sustainable urban living, but it's also quite accessible in that there are no gates on the perimeter of the project, which had been in the works since 2003.

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