• The Facts:Architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti has proposed a design for a ‘Smart’ Forst City in Cancun and is awaiting its approval.
  • Reflect On:Could this be a model for future cities?

Italian architect Stefano Boeri has unveiled impressive plans to create a forested smart forest city near Cancun, Mexico. It is said to be an example of the potential for cities in the future. If you’re like me, there are aspects of this that are quite impressive, but the word ‘smart city’ may sound some alarm bells. Let’s address this as we go.

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There is a 557 hectare site near the Mexican city of Cancun where currently proposed is a huge shopping mall. Previously, this piece of land was partly occupied by a sand quarry, but if Boeri’s firm gets the nod, their design for a smart forest city will bring 7.5 million plants, including numerous species of trees, shrubs and bushes chosen by botanist and landscape architect Laura Gatti.

“Smart Forest City Cancun is a Botanical Garden, within a contemporary city, based on Mayan heritage and in its relationship with the natural and sacred world, […] An urban ecosystem where nature and city are intertwined and act as one organism.” said Stefano Boeri Architetti.

“Indeed the effort of the smart Forest City of Cancun could make our world a better place, reducing significantly the negative impacts on the environment, possibly being a pioneer for a new kind of human settlement, a man made city for nature and biodiversity,” said the firm.

The city would grow food, could be home to up to 130,000 people and would even collect and process its own water to irrigate the farmland. The city would also be energy sufficient through the use of solar technology.

“We have designed different types of housing that could include all the types of inhabitants,” […] “This will include affordable buildings for young students, researchers, and professors.” said the firm.