In southern China construction has begun of the world’s first ‘forest city’. Liuzhou Forest City, designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, will consist of high rises for residential and commercial purposes, two schools, and a hospital, all covered by plants and trees.

The Vertical Forest concept by Milan architect Stefano Boeri is intended as a model of ‘vertical densification of nature within the city’. In his hometown Boeri tested the concept first with two towers of 110 and 76 metres tall that are completely covered by 900 trees and over 20,000 plants. This vegetal system, which on flat land would cover 7000 square metres, creates a microclimate, produces humidity, absorbs CO2, and dust particles and produces oxygen.

In China, where air pollution is a major problem, there is much interest for Boeri’s ideas. Two new tree-clad towers will be built in Nanjing in China, and other buildings are planned in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

And now construction has begun of Liuzhou Forest City, designated home to 30,000 inhabitants, in an area that covers 175 hectares along the Liujiang river. Plants and trees will cover every building, with a total of 40,000 trees and almost 1 million plants of more than 100 species. The foliage is expected to absorb 57 tonnes of volatile pollutants and 10.000 tonnes of CO2 and produce around 900 tonnes of oxygen every year.

A little closer to home, Boeri has also unveiled plans for a vertical forest tower in the Dutch city of Utrecht. The proposed ‘Hawthorn Tower’ will be the first of its kind in the Netherlands, and once completed, its 10,000 plants are expected to absorb more than 5,4 tons of co2. It is bold ideas like these we are looking for in the WDCD Climate Action Challenge, the open call of which now has an extended deadline until 24 September.

Stefano Boeri’s Vertical Forest concept is one of the projects described in our most recent publication ‘Good News for the Planet. 31 Brilliant Ideas for Climate Action’, still available through our webshop.

Featured image & top 2 images: Liuzhou Forest City. Bottom image: Hawthorn Tower. All images © Stefano Boeri Architetti. 


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