The eastern Chinese city of Nanjing, like many of the country’s urban areas, suffers from intense smog.
The Air Quality Index, which uses a scale from 0 to 500 (with higher numbers indicating worse pollution), rates Nanjing’s air quality as 132 — a level considered unhealthy for the public, especially those with respiratory disease.
The Italian design firm Stefano Boeri Architetti believes that building towers covered in plants could help the city reduce its pollution. The company recently announced that it will build two skyscrapers that will hold a total of 1,100 trees and 2,500 cascading shrubs on their rooftops and balconies.
Construction on the buildings, called the Nanjing Green Towers, began in early 2017 and is set to wrap up next year. The design will be similar to that of a two-tower complex that Boeri designed in Milan. Another tower in Lausanne, Switzerland will follow a similar plan and is expected to open by early 2018.
Though only two forest-like towers are currently underway, Boeri’s ultimate goal is to create an entire “forest city” in Nanjing and other Chinese cities.
Take a look at the plans below.
The 'forest towers' in Nanjing will feature offices, a 247-room luxury hotel, a museum, and an architecture school. Here's a rendering of what they will look like:
The Nanjing Green Towers will look similar to the two that Stefano Boeri Architetti designed in Milan, which measure 360 and 250 feet tall.
The balconies and rooftops are covered in approximately 900 trees (each measuring between 10 and 30 feet) and over 20,000 plants, ranging from shrubs to flowers.
Collectively, the plants on Nanjing's towers will eat 25 tons of carbon dioxide each year and produce about 60 kg of oxygen daily, according to the firm.
The project is meant to serve as a blueprint for Boeri's imagined 'forest city' in China, which the firm hopes to build in Nanjing, Liuzhou, or Shijiazhuang.
Boeri envisions that this futuristic development could contain up to 200 vegetation-covered towers, a train system, and lots of green space.
Architect Stefano Boeri told The Guardian that forest cities could fundamentally alter China's urban areas. Chinese officials, he said, 'have created these nightmares -- immense metropolitan environments. They have to imagine a new model of city that is not about extending and expanding but a system of small, green cities.'
'We are working very seriously on designing all the different buildings. I think they will start to build at the end of this year. By 2020 we could imagine having the first forest city in China,' Boeri told the Guardian.
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