Italian architect Stefano Boeri just can’t pass on the chance to add more plants to a cityscape. The brains behind Milan’s greenery-packed Bosco Verticale, Boeri has now convinced the city of Florence to use large flowerpots to protects its public spaces rather than military-style barriers.
Florence was initially planning on installing concrete barriers to prevent vehicles from driving into pedestrian spaces, as has occurred in recent terror attacks in Barcelona, London, and other European cities. But Boeri spoke out in favor of a greener alternative, and was soon in talks with the city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, and other architects to find a feasible approach. Now, the plan is official.
“The safety of these places is urgent and appropriate, but we cannot allow safety to transform thousands of squares and public spaces in Europe to become sites of barriers and concrete blocks, as if they were military checkpoints,” Boeri said after the meeting. The architect has also proposed designing a line of protective street furniture including bike racks, benches, and charging stations.
"Our response to the hatred of terrorism is in art and beauty," said Nardella. "We can not afford [for] terrorists to distance us from public places, from our open and beautiful spaces, from the our historical squares. We do not want to transform our squares into [sites of] anxiety and barred areas of barriers and blocks cement."
Similar “anti-terror flower pots” have also been popping up around major sites in Rome, such as the Quirinal Palace.