"Use trees not barriers to keep public spaces safe"

A leading Italian architect and urban planner has proposed that European cities use trees with bulky planters rather than concrete barriers to prevent terrorists in vehicles targeting pedestrians.

Image: Richard Smith (CC BY 2.0)
Image: Richard Smith (CC BY 2.0)

Writing on his Facebook page, professor of urban planning at the Polytechnic University of Milan Stefano Boeri said: "It's well known that a tree - unlike a concrete barrier - not only protects us, but it makes us shade, absorbs urban air pollution, hosts insects and birds. In a word, it welcomes and protects the life that terrorists want to annihilate."

He added: "With a small investment, carefully distributing the plants in the most vital and open spaces of our cities, we can temporarily transform our dearest places into clearings and forests.

"Placed at the entrances of every square or urban public space, vessels of different size (the standard may be cylindrical, 1m high and 3m in diameter) will be filled with the earth needed to accommodate the roots, the stem and the branches of a large tree so as to protect the passage of pedestrians and minimise the risk of mass murder."

Boeri is a long-standing advocate of trees in cities, and is perhaps best-known for co-designing the Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest), a pair of residential tower blocks in Milan that are home to over 900 trees. 

Mayor of the southern city of Bari and president of the National Association of Italian Municipalities Antonio Decaro told the newspaper La Repubblica: "Green in cities is always good. It is our responsibility to do all we can to ensure the safety of citizens, and we will do our best to do so. I just want the beauty of our cities not to be attacked by concrete blocks."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Arboriculture Contracts & Tenders

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources