Gardens, as anyone who’s blown a weekend tending an overgrown and weed-filled yard can attest, do not take care of themselves. At least not usually.

A new project in Milan offers a vision of a garden that can water and light itself, all by harvesting the energy of the people who come to visit.

[Photo: Marco Beck Peccoz/courtesy CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati]

Feeling the Energy” is a temporary installation at Milan’s botanical garden that employs a range of renewable energy sources to power the garden. Co-designed by Milan-based CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and architect Italo Rota, the installation features a winding copper tube that bends and flows through the entire garden, serving as an elegant irrigation hose at ground level and providing misters overhead that help cool the human visitors walking through. Renewable energy provides the pumping power, as well as electricity that lights the garden at night.

[Photo: Marco

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