Greening the city is a theme that has prolific and cyclic historical claims, especially dense since the crisis of the urban organism. Main theme of the cultural debate on modern town planning, it has generated more or less Utopian and radical visions, as well as practical experiments. These have covered the theme of the intrusion of nature in the urban landscape, or viceversa, of the intrusion of settlements in “green” areas. Different theories and achievements aimed essentially to the formulation of landscapes without break between artifice and nature, city and country. We recall the Garden city, Le Corbusier’s Ville Verte, the recent visions and iconographic representations by Boeri or Schuiten (Vegetal city) that recall a specific environmental-aesthetic vision, the technical-botanical experiments of Patric Blanc, and the proposals for vertical farms and urban agriculture. These options are based on the acquisition of new technical concepts that have permitted to create devices for healthy and energy-efficient green architecture. With this flurry of proposals, we would like to open the discussion on the city greening processes and the new modes of expression available to the discipline. We would also like to reflect on the challenge imposed on the discipline by the pressing environmental and social needs: the need for shelter, to reduce urban conflicts, to provide zero kilometer food and materials. There is, thus, a pressing need to change the views on urban greening. A strategy is needed that goes beyond the graceful ways to integrate nature into the built environment, sometimes merely an ornamental “façade”, and shift the reasoning on the logic of ecosystem functioning to the concepts of resilience, urban recognizability, the regeneration of degraded places and re-colonization, self-management and self-production of resources (including food). We are therefore looking for a new impulse for urban landscape design, open to experiments spanning both the technological and the cultural aspects of the field, to experiences that allow to probe the contributions of landscape design in changing the city also through nature, integrating differences, reducing conflicts and enhancing the qualities of urban ecosystems and the well-being of people.
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