Cities the world over have plans to green, rewild or renature themselves. Billions of trees will be planted. Street will be depaved. Facades will become bioreceptive. But when you zoom in to these plans, practical details – tangible interventions – are hard to find.
Hence the focus of this workshop in Milan. Sixteen masters students were asked to design an urban infrastructure tool, equipment, place, or experience. They were given three to choose from:
– Soil care, composting, and fermentation;
– Trees, microparks, and edible forests;
– Microbiome inspired green infrastructure – or MIGI
Their guest professor (me) was impressed by the alacrity with which these young product designers grasped this challenging brief. In just one week, they developed the tangible designs shown below.
Three takeaways here:
1. Plans being made to plant billions of trees – but who will take care for them, and how?
2. Green infrastructure is as much social, as it technical;
3 .If your responsibilities include ecological urbanism, rewilding, or nature-as-infrastructure in a city – well, involve designers.