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‘Forest cities’ Might Save China And Its Citizens From Air Pollution

Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China

By Nagidmy Marquez June 27, 2017
© Forest City Shijiazhuang/ Stefano Boeri

The super plan by Stefano Boeri for a new green city that battles air pollution is currently under development in China. The Liuzhou Forest City, commissioned by Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning, will be built in the north of Liuzhou (in the mountain area of Guangxi) and will be completed by 2020.

Everything seems to indicate that China, the world’s leading contributor to global warming, is actively getting ready to address their air pollution challenges. China emits almost twice the amount of greenhouse gases as the US, which it surpassed in 2006 as the world’s top contributor to atmospheric carbon dioxide. Today, the country accounts for approximately 23 percent of all global CO2 emissions.

Related: The Housing Market In Shenzhen, The Silicon Valley of China, Slows In 2017

The problem gets even more complex when recent studies also confirm that approximately 1.1 million people in China die every year as a result of the country’s polluted air. This data is matched only by India. Other reports estimate that 3.5 million people die worldwide yearly due to air pollution, mostly from pollution created by huge manufacturing countries like China and India.

Initiatives to reduce China’s pollution and toxic air are getting some traction, both at the national and the local level. And when the Italian architect Boeri, known for his tree-clad Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) complex in Milan, announced his plans for a similar project in China, many were skeptical about the country’s efforts to materialize their plans to reduce their air pollution crisis.

Boeri told for The Guardian, “We have been asked to design an entire city where you don’t only have one tall building but you have 100 or 200 buildings of different sizes, all with trees and plants on the facades.” The architect also emphasized, “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.”

The first Chinese Forest City is becoming a reality. This is a truly modern living ecosystem where offices, houses, hotels, hospitals and schools are covered by plants and trees (a total green lifestyle). It is expected that once completed, this paradise will host 30,000 people. It will also absorb almost 10,000 tons of CO2 and 57 tons of pollutants per year and produce approximately 900 tons of oxygen. Any takers? The city will be connected to Liuzhou through a fast rail line used by electric cars.

The success raised by Boeri’s Vertical Forest in Milan will be replicated in many other parts of the world and, of course, in China – Nanjing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. There is no doubt that the Liuzhou Forest City project represents a new generation urban environments that responsibly challenge climate change. These are new models helping the future of our world.

As Boeri mentioned, it would take more than a pair of tree-covered skyscrapers to solve China’s notorious pollution crisis. But it is important to start the process. This is an innovative idea; it is an urban settlement that will have positively works toward combining the challenge for energy self-sufficiency with the use of renewable energy, and also, the challenge to increase biodiversity and to effectively reduce air pollution in urban areas. “We think – and we hope – that this idea of vertical forests can be replicated everywhere. I absolutely have no problem if there are people who are copying or replicating. I hope that what we have done can be useful for other kinds of experiments.”

Nagidmy Marquez

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nagidmy Marquez

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nagidmy Marquez

Nagidmy is a global communications strategist with more than 15 years of experience in the creation, curation and implementation of strategic content and integrated communications practices. She has worked across different regions and cultures of the world including: United States, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. She is a Mafalda and Don Quixote lover.

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