With the increasing air pollution and global warming, there is a strong need to plant new trees and forests to combat the ills of polluted air. But where to plant new trees in cities overcrowded with residential buildings, offices, towers, and industries? Due to the increasing population of the world, lands are being cleared and cities are expanding. In these massively overcrowded cities all over the globe, there is hardly any room to plant new trees and forests. Stefano Boeri from Milan came up with the idea of vertical forest i.e., building forests straight up into the sky.Stefano has undertaken many projects of regeneration or redevelopment of urban cities.
The Italian architect has gained much fame after his Bosco verticale project in Milan, Italy. Bosco Verticale is actually a pair of residential towers having trees and plants on its facades. The towers are 111 meters and 76 meters tall and cover an area of 89000 square meters. These towers are covered from the bottom to the top with approximately 900 trees and over 20,000 plants from a wide range of shrubs and floral plants. The radical idea behind this was metropolitan reforestation. These vertical skyscrapers can contribute to the regeneration of environment and vertical densification of nature. This Bosco Verticale project was started in 2009 and completed in 2014.
The construction of two similar towers “Nanjing Vertical Forests“ has been started in China. These will be built completely in 2018 in the smoggy Nanjing Pukou District of China. The two towers will be adjacent to each other with the taller one nearly 700 feet high. It will house everything from offices to a museum, an architecture school and a private club on the roof. The shorter tower will be a hotel with 250 guest rooms. There will be a total of 23 species of plants including 1100 trees and more than 2500 cascading shrubs and plants on its facades. This Nanjing Vertical forest will be able to create a microclimate producing humidity and 60 kg oxygen per day. On the other hand they absorb the dust particles and approximately 25 tons of carbon dioxide.
Now Stefano has broadened the vision of this vertical forest project and aims to build Forest Cities in China. The environmental degradation is at its peak in China due to excessively crowded cities. It will be the best possible solution to regenerate the environmental biodiversity through vertical forest cities. Boeri told 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. 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.”
To provide a green roadmap to the future of urban china, Stefano is planning to create many sustainable mini-cities in the country. The purpose is to construct a green architecture that will contribute to changing the environmental urban conditions. The first forest city of china will be located in Liuzhou in the southern province of Guangxi. The second project will be around the industrial hub Shijiazhuang in the northern China. Stefano Boeri plans to solve the notorious pollution in China through a series of vertical forest cities .
“What they have done until now is simply to continue to add new peripheral environments to their cities,” he said. “They have created these nightmares – immense metropolitan environments. They have to imagine a new model of the city that is not about extending and expanding but a system of small, green cities.”
Benefits of Vertical Forests
These Vertical forests have innumerable benefits that will bring a new life to the devastated environmental conditions of the densely populated cities. The designing of such a biological architecture involves consultation with expert biologists and horticulturists. The changing shape and forms of leaves of shrubs and trees fit perfectly to the changing environmental conditions in summer and winter. The green coverings protect the people from the sun rays and the acoustic pollution. The leaves of the trees help to absorb carbon dioxide and dust particles. Moreover, they also produce oxygen and humidity in the surroundings. These vertical forest cities not only provide a healthier microclimate for the residents but are also a source of naturalization of the urban territories. They increase the biodiversity of the urban cities through recolonization by vegetation and by animal life.
This Vertical forest city plan can change the view of any metropolitan city and is easy to replicate all over the World. Stefano Boer said:
“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.”