CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and non-profit organization GAL Terre del Po unveil “The Tree Path”, an elevated route for pedestrians and cyclists supported by more than a thousand trees, which leads to Sabbioneta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in northern Italy. The pathway was developed in collaboration with OLA (Office for Living Architecture), the leading experts in a construction technique called Baubotanik, that employs trees as architectural and structural elements.
The elevated bicycle route runs in-between trees, resting on two parallel rows of plants that act as pillars. In the countryside, the project explores sustainable mobility, blending the concepts of nature and architecture, and envisions planting roughly one thousand trees. The plants would grow around a stainless steel profile, transforming the path over the course of years. The path unfolds vertically on three different levels, rising up to six meters above the ground, bypassing road traffic and waterways.
The Tree Path incorporates also digital sensors to measure multiple factors in the atmosphere, from air pollution to the health and growth status of individual trees. The project, in fact, will use the artificial intelligence system provided by the Mindicity Urban Intelligence platform. The sensors will also help ensure that all the living organisms along the path can respond to changing environmental conditions or structural loads, realizing an “Internet of trees”.