Crazy Urban Nature

By : Epic Wildlife - 10 months ago
From homes built on waterfalls to a forest that lies right in the middle of a big city here’s some great examples of nature and human civilization blending together seamlessly and creating truly spectacular results.

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The Hole in Bucharest

Bucharest is the capital and largest city in Romania and, with nearly two million people living there is one of the most populous cities in all of Eastern Europe. In the 70’s, the country's communist leadership hoped to build large scale residential high rise buildings a la North Korea’s Pyongyang. To support the project they designated this and another area to become giant reservoirs. So they destroyed the housing in the way and started to build the reservoir. The plan would collapse along with communism in the early 1990’s, proving the point that if an idea is inspired by something done in North Korea, it probably shouldn’t be pursued. A decade later the country's leadership, now capitalists approved a plan to build a resort style complex complete with casinos, a hotel and a golf course. Investors would pull out of the plan in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis. While humans were being stupid, silly and struggling amongst themselves about what to do with the giant hole that communism had unintentionally left behind … animals had moved in and seem to have taken up permanent residence. An unusual assortment of creatures, from 86 species of birds to foxes, water snakes and stray dogs, along with families of otters and fish have swarmed the area en masse. As a result, in 2014 Lake Vacaresti and the surrounding area was declared a protected zone and named a nature park by the Government of Romania. Remember Flower Tower in Paris, hopefully we just talked about it like 3 minutes ago. Well, here’s two similar buildings in Milan

The Vertical Forest (Bosco Verticale)

Milan had something to be embarrassed about in 2008. That year it was named the single most polluted city in all of Europe, a distinction that the town’s leadership and citizens surely wanted nothing to do with. This troubling news likely spurred the development and construction of these two high rise towers, which opened up for residents in 2014. With a combined 25 thousand trees and plants the towers filter the air’s CO2 and particles created by urban traffic, thus lowering pollution in the city. Maintenance is admittedly tough, a team of arborists are required for each building to care for the foliage. The drawbacks however are far outweighed by the buildings benefits. The Vertical Forests represent a new and exciting branch of architecture. Not only is nature reintroduced into the structures surrounding urban environment, but this reintroduction is at the same time fighting the negative effects of climate change and pollution that are all too common in big cities around the world. Here’s to hoping we see more buildings like this pair and the Flower Tower pop up in the near future, and not just in big cities, but everywhere.

Tunnel of Love

Located in Ukraine near the village of Klevan, the Tunnel of Love is a remarkable run of train tracks which are surrounded nearly entirely by trees. Today the tunnel is a great place for couples to spend some special time together. Reportedly it's also a popular place for newlyweds to shoot photographs. Legend has it that couples who visit the tunnel can make a wish, and it’ll come true as long as that wish has pure intentions. In Other Words most wishes won’t come true here. It seems that the line is still used three times a day to transport wood to a nearby fiberboard factory.

Valley of the Mills

Many, many years ago, estimates say thirty seven thousand years back, the Phlegraean Fields (fleg-ree-un), a volcanic area west of Naples, Italy erupted. This cosmic event changed the land permanently and created this valley, which we call the Valley of the Mills. Some of the buildings you can see under the overgrowth are flour mills that date as far back as the 13th century. Others were once wash houses or sawmills. For centuries the valley was an established area of industry. What a place to get to go to work. People were lucky for a long time. 1866 however was the beginning of the end for human population in the valley. The Piazza Tasso was constructed, leaving no way for people to travel to and from the valley. As a result the mill was partially abandoned at the time. Then, in the early 20th century nearby pasta mills began milling flour. By the 1940’s the Valley had become totally obsolete and humankind left the structures behind. Now the buildings are slowly being swallowed up by vines and bushes, creating a beautiful landscape.

Crazy Urban Nature