If we think of China, we picture ourselves overpopulated cities with a nation plagued by polluted air. But that is about to change, meet the Italian architect Stefano Boeri he sees the opportunity to create cities where all kinds of plants, trees and bushes can bloom and people would be able to breathe in healthy air again. Therefore, he recently presented an ambitious plan to build the first Forest City in China.
The Rise Of The Forest City
At the moment, Stefano Boeri is working on two green residential towers in the Chinese city of Nanjing. He sees these green towers as a sort of organ transplant for the city. By making room for much green, the city needs to be a lot healthier. In addition, he has plans for a much larger project: Forest City Shijiazhuang. Boeri is dreaming about China, the country which is unfortunately known to have massive local pollution, and he wants to build new green cities and transform existing cities into little forests.
That is why he is working on a prototype for small, compact and green cities. The first Forest City will be assembled with large and medium-sized buildings. These buildings will be surrounded by all kinds of trees, shrubs and flowering plants and earned the name as Vertical Forests. Each vertical forest in the Forest City is equivalent to 20,000 square meters of forest area, describes the architect in his plan. The first Forest City will ultimately be 225 acres and accommodate 100,000 inhabitants. The city will consist of 5 districts in which approximately 20,000 people can live. Each district has its own composition of homes, offices, businesses, shopping centers, parks and gardens. In the central park there is room for public facilities such as a hospital, schools and cultural institutions.
War Against The Contamination
The first Chinese Forest City must be a sustainable city with low energy consumption. All green plants and trees on the balconies and roofs will ensure that there is a big difference between the temperature inside and outside. Especially in the summer, all that green has to bring a lot of cooling. In addition, all this vegetation will act as a filter to produce oxygen, absorb CO2 and protect people from high pollution in Chinese cities. By building more green cities and integrating greener into existing cities, the huge air pollution in China must be reduced.
Although Boeri has received several awards for his vision of sustainable construction, the method used to realize vertical forests raises some questions. Because due to the multiple use of concrete to support the heavy trees on the balconies and without knowing the exact CO² emissions the vertical forest might be not so durable. I personally am very curious on how this is going to work precisely and whether all these plants can actually grow in such a polluted environment. In addition, I obviously hope that China will also take other measures to reduce air pollution and make towns more sustainable. And hopefully we all can learn from projects like this and stimulate our environment with more and more nature.