Nowadays, both public administrations and private institutions account neglected areas, brown-fields and abandoned buildings as a factor of major urban degradation, often looking for temporary solutions and low-budget ideas as an answer to very problematic issues. But in many cases, these re-generation actions are long-term processes, requiring big investments and granting no certain outcomes. Nevertheless, such abandoned areas –colonized by a sort of “second-hand nature”– are often fundamental oasis of biodiversity; if intended as a network, they represent a concealed green infrastructure spread out across the whole urban landscape and it is as such they should be conceived and designed. Herbarium 2.0 aims at inspiring new strategies in order to trigger effective changes in such contexts, starting from a tool that introduces an alternative taxonomy for plants and green-devices. Herbarium 2.0 is a collection of sample species, catalogued according to specific features and pragmatic implications. The strategy adopted by many plants to spontaneously grow and develop in particular environmental conditions is firstly analyzed in order to identify their best use and to address specific tasks. Plants are capable of drastically decrease the quantity of metals in the atmosphere, capturing CO2 and other greenhouse gases and fixing them through photosynthesis. Some of them bring nourishment to depleted soils, cleaning contaminated lands and accumulating earth in ruined and rocky areas, growing and spreading across asphalt and concrete. Under this perspective, it is not important whether these species are autochthonous or allochthonous, overriding or invasive, but rather the extent to which they respond to environmental needs and to the landscape project’s targets. Herbarium 2.0 aims at being a compendium of tools and actions capable of strengthening latent or underway processes dealing with temporary and evolving landscapes within the urban environment. In this framework, vegetation becomes the main element of broader transformations opposing the widespread idea by which “nature” must be kept under control, and disorder is equivalent to decay.
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