Smart Forest City concept by Stefano Boeri entwines nature and urban fabric in Mexico
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Smart Forest City concept by Stefano Boeri entwines nature and urban fabric in Mexico

The Milan-based architect envisions a botanical garden within a contemporary city for the concept masterplan of ‘Smart Forest City Cancun’ in Mexico.

by Aishwarya Chodankar Nov 06, 2019

Designed for global textile manufacturers and property developer Grupo Karim’s, Stefano Boeri Architetti reveals proposal for a new forest city in Cancun city of southeast Mexico. The 557ha project titled ‘Smart Forest City Cancun’ is envisioned as the first ever forest city of its kind, home to 130,000 inhabitants and more than seven million plants occupying 400 hectares of green spaces.

The project is envisioned as a botanical garden within a contemporary city | Smart Forest City | Stefano Boeri Architetti | STIRworld
The project is envisioned as a botanical garden within a contemporary city Image Credit: The Big Picture

With an estimate of 400 different species chosen carefully by botanist and landscape architect Laura Gatti, 260,000 will comprise of trees - 2.3 per inhabitant - and the rest would be taken care by shrubs and bushes. As a result of this, the Smart Forest City would be able to absorb 116,000 tons of carbon dioxide – thus actively addressing the environmental concerns that are haunting the planet.

The project will double up as a centre for advanced research and development, inviting students, professionals and organisations from across the world to explore technological possibilities and innovation to bring about a more sustainable future.

 A ring of solar panels will dot the city making it energy sufficient | Smart Forest City | Stefano Boeri Architetti | STIRworld
A ring of solar panels will dot the city making it energy sufficient Image Credit: Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

In addition to the green roofs and facades, there will be public parks and private gardens in the new city. These spaces facilitate a system through which occupied areas will be given back to nature through an ideal balance between the green and building footprint. Moreover, the city is be designed to be completely food and energy self- efficient owing to the contribution by German office, Transsolar.

Water will be distributed within the city through a system navigable canals  | Smart Forest City | Stefano Boeri Architetti | STIRworld
Water will be distributed within the city through a system navigable canals Image Credit: Courtesy of Stefano Boeri Architetti

Water is a key feature in the project. It is introduced at the entrance of the city, and collected in a huge basin which sits alongside a desalination tower. As per the masterplan, water is distributed by a system of navigable canals that run through the whole settlement up to the agricultural fields belt surrounding the urban area. This key feature also finds an expression in the form of a series of water gardens designed to fight floods, and serving as a model for resilient landscapes.

Pedestrian friendly design | Smart Forest City |Stefano Boeri Architetti | STIRworld
Pedestrian friendly design Image Credit: The Big Picture, Federico Biancullo

Smart Forest City Cancun is conceived with a new approach to transport planning proposed by mobility consultants, MIC (Mobility in Chain).“The site is accessible only by the innovative and carbon free mobility and for this reason the mobility plan provides that all residents will leave vehicles on the outskirts,” says designers at MIC.

The project is reflective of an urban revolution that integrates technological experiments and super connection, to make people think about the existing architectures and cities, in relation to their future.

Architect Stefano Boeri-lead masterplan will be taken ahead only post its approval from the Region and Municipality.

Project Details

Name of the project: Smart Forest City Cancun
Location: Cancun, Mexico
Client: Grupo Karim’s
Architect: Stefano Boeri Architetti (Stefano Boeri, Francesca Cesa Bianchi)
Mobility Consultant: MIC - mobility in chain (Federico Cassani)
Landscape Consultant: Studio Laura Gatti (Laura Gatti)
Sustainability and Smart City Consultant: Transsolar KlimaEngineering (Project Manager: Tommaso Bitossi)

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About Author

Aishwarya Chodankar

Aishwarya Chodankar

Chodankar has a keen interest in reading and writing. A student at the Academy of Architecture, she loves to travel, explore new places, and try different kinds of desserts and cuisines. Chodankar also shared her ideas at the Ted-Ed weekend 2016 in New York. She aspires to learn with every challenge and opportunity, and delve into her passion for journalism in the years to come.

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