Design and technology for the planet

A new exhibition route through Milan's historic garden shows the contribution trees make to reducing CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere.

Natural Capital

Natural Capital: the installation at the Brera Botanical Garden

Eni and the design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati present the Natural Capital installation at FuoriSalone in Milan. The installation is open from 4 to 12 September at the Brera Botanical Garden of the University of Milan.

Natural Capital invites you to look at the vital role of forests and greenery for the health of our planet, from a new perspective: one of the greatest data visualizations ever produced. The installation covers over 500 square metres where a series of floating bubbles intertwine with the plants in one of Italy's most beautiful urban gardens located in the heart of the design capital


Natural Capital, Eni's installation at FuoriSalone 2021

Natural Capital and Creative Connections

This year is a special edition of FuoriSalone, the great exhibition organised by Interni and linked to Milan Design Week, both because it celebrates 30 years since its conception and because of the theme chosen. Creative Connections was founded to launch and multiplying connections and relationships relating to care, sustainability and mobility, creating a virtuous network of leaders in creativity, designers and companies. With Natural Capital, Eni and CRA are taking part in the ideas debate promoted by Interni, reinforcing a partnership that aims to explore the new paradigms of sustainability and the circular economy, and which sees them work alongside Italo Rota in the Innovation means making things possible installation at the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020.

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Natural Capital is a design experiment where a data visualization has been transformed into a real-life spatial experience, to promote a new harmony between the natural and the man made.

Carlo Ratti, Founding Partner CRA Office and Professor at MIT Boston

The scientific study by the University of Milan

For the Natural Capital exhibition, 34 tree species growing in Brera Botanical Garden have been analyzed and classified. Professor Alessio Fini of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Milan estimated the amount of CO₂ captured and stored by each species over time. Using data from previous research projects, such as QUALIVIVA, SmartUrban and LIFE URBANGREEN, funded by Mipaaf, the Tuscany Region and the European Union respectively, Professor Fini's team calculated the extent of ecosystem services on the basis of dozens of species grown in the Brera Botanical Garden. The estimate includes the amount of CO₂ captured and stored by each of them over time. For example, the Persimmon (Diospyros kaki) can capture and store about 61 kg of CO2 per year, represented by a bubble with a diameter of 170 centimetres. The Bog pine (Pinus mugo) captures and stores less than 1 kg of CO2 per year, represented by a bubble with a diameter of 35 centimetres.


A selection of data on some of the species from the study