Revolutionary green architecture in the works for China

By Zack Downing, Staff Writer

In the last 100 years, China has transformed from a country of rice fields and poverty, to a nation rich with industry and urbanism, now supporting a mammoth-sized economy.

A few problems have arisen from such a productive economy. One of them is a horrific standard of worker’s ethics, which is a discussion for another time. The other is widespread pollution, an issue China has been dealing with for a while.

The eastern side of China has some of the worst air quality on the planet, causing issues with the Beijing Olympics almost a decade ago, all while clouding up the skies with smog and dust.

The urbanization of the terrain has ruined a lot of the ecosystems and nature, and has compromised the ability of plants to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen.

However, architect Stefano Boeri is looking to change that. In Nanjing, one of China’s largest cities, Boeri is set to construct what are known as “vertical forests.”

These are buildings coated in trees, vines, and shrubs, and their purpose is to be a substitute for forests that have been lost in the area. They are planned to be similar to a previous creation of his, the Bosco Verticale in Milan.

The buildings will contain a museum, a luxurious rooftop club, and an architectural school for those inspired by the building they’re learning in.

The hope for the buildings is not just that they provide a much-needed green visual to the drab city, but also that they help purify the air.

Hopefully, the plants coating the buildings will turn the gross smoggy carbon dioxide into more breathable

According to estimates, the plants covering both buildings could absorb twenty five tons of carbon dioxide in a year, and could expel over 130 pounds of oxygen each day.

That’s a lot of air—130 pounds of it.

If the construction goes smoothly and the plants serve their purpose, other Chinese cities are on board for vertical forests of their own.

As long as the Chinese smog doesn’t kill the plants and leave Nanjing with two buildings coated in dead trees, I think it’s a great idea.

Every city skyline could use some nature to contrast the tall gray structures of the urban landscape.

Perhaps Stefano Boeri could bring his talents to America and give us some green buildings.
New York City would love another landmark to spice up the grid-like city streets. The trees could also serve as a new place for birds to roost, which would relieve some of the city’s problems with pigeon poo.

Detroit, which currently resembles the album cover of Pink Floyd’s “Animals,” could definitely use some air purification.

Hopefully, vertical forests are the new trend in city architecture.

They purify the air, provide new mini ecosystems for flora and fauna, and they look cool doing it.

Except in the winter. They would look pretty gross in the winter.

Photo Courtesy: inhabitat


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