If you think that a building covered in hundreds of trees and shrubs is cool, how about a whole city full of them?
Italian architect Stefano Boeri, famous for his leafy Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) towers in Milan, caused a stir earlier this month with his plans to build China’s first “vertical forest” in Nanjing. The proposed pair of downtown skyscrapers would be home to some 1,000 trees and 2,500 shrubs and plants that will produce around 132 pounds of oxygen per day, adding some much-needed greenery to the city’s downtown skyline.
But it turns out that Boeri has even more green up his sleeves for a country that is plagued with persistent dirty and deadly air, hoping to apply his “vertical forest” concept to entire mini-cities in the not so distant future.
Boeri’s ambitious plans start in the city of Liuzhou, home to some 1.4 million people, located in the mountainous region of northern Guangxi. There, he hopes to build a sustainable settlement that is one with nature and the region’s unique karst landscape.
Check out some designs below:
But the architect has even more ambitious plans for the provincial capital of smoggy Hebei province. Shijiazhuang is known to suffer from some of China’s worst air quality, but Boeri hopes to change all that by building an entire “forest city” where 100,000 people can live and breathe more happily, turning the polluted urban sprawl into a vibrant urban jungle.
“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,” Boeri told the Guardian. “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.”
In Boeri’s grand vision, the landscape of Chinese cities will change in the future from “huge megalopolises” to a system of smaller cities made up of sustainable “green architecture.”
We admit, that’s not exactly how we imagine things are going to go, but it doesn’t hurt to hope.
[Images via Stefano Boeri Architetti]
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat