Smog and pollution are massive problems in urban areas, but an Italian architect is combating these issues with a new project: a “vertical forest” in a densely populated Chinese city.
The Easyhome Huanggang Vertical Forest City Complex was recently constructed in Huanggang, China. Huanggang is home to over 1.2 million people, and this complex can house around 500.
The project’s creator, Italian architect Stefano Boeri, explained, “The inhabitants of the residential towers have the opportunity to experience the urban space from a different perspective while fully enjoying the comfort of being surrounded by nature.”
Cities with lots of vehicles face huge amounts of carbon dioxide pollution, which heats up our planet and causes natural disasters. A study by the World Research Institute confirms that greenery like trees and other plants absorb these carbon emissions, which subsequently helps slow down the overheating of our planet and keeps cities cooler.
The entire complex is made up of five towers — two of them including housing — and covers a little over 4.5 hectares, or 11.1 acres.
The residential buildings feature 404 trees, 4,620 shrubs, and 2,409 square meters of smaller plants like perennial grasses and climbing plants. They’re all native species, which means they’re well-adapted to the climate and won’t cause problems in local ecosystems like invasive species do.
Experts predict that the vertical forest, thanks to its lush greenery, will absorb up to 22 tons of carbon dioxide pollution each year and generate around 11 tons of oxygen in return.
“The design allows an excellent view of the tree-lined façades, enhancing the sensorial experience of the greenery and integrating the plant landscape with the architectural dimension,” Boeri added.
Some tenants have already moved into the complex’s 209 apartments.
Boeri is also working on a similar project in Liuzhou, China, one of the smoggiest cities on the planet. That project is much bigger with plans to house up to 30,000 people and over 1 million plants.