Air pollution in China is now reaching extremely dangerous levels. While Greenpeace estimates that around 460 million people were affected by China’s poor air quality in 2016, scientists have said that the smog has contributed to over 1.4 million deaths per year – that’s 4,000 people every single day! As part of a global fight to improve air quality and reduce pollution, China are stepping up with plans for a new vertical forest, which is set to produce around 60 Kg of clean oxygen every single day.
Designed by the Italian architect Stefano Boeri, who has successfully built 2 vertical forests in Milan, the Nanjing Green Towers will comprise 600 large trees, 500 medium sized trees and 2500 cascading plants and shrubs that will cover a total area of around 6,000 square meters. China is currently investing more money that any other nation in renewable energy in order to combat the country’s horrific smog crisis – which includes the development of wind farms, solar plants, and also closing down over 100 coal-based energy projects.
Boeri stated that the new towers will produce around 60 Kg of clean oxygen every day, whilst having the capability to absorb over 25 tons of Carbon Dioxide each year. When it opens in 2018, the Nanjing Green Towers will produce air that is more than 3000 times cleaner than the current smog-filled city air.
“VERTICAL FOREST IS A MODEL FOR A SUSTAINABLE RESIDENTIAL BUILDING, A PROJECT FOR METROPOLITAN REFORESTATION CONTRIBUTING TO THE REGENERATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND URBAN BIODIVERSITY WITHOUT THE IMPLICATION OF EXPANDING THE CITY UPON THE TERRITORY. IT IS A MODEL OF VERTICAL DENSIFICATION OF NATURE WITHIN THE CITY THAT OPERATES IN RELATION TO POLICIES FOR REFORESTATION AND NATURALIZATION OF LARGE URBAN AND METROPOLITAN BORDERS. THE VEGETAL SYSTEM OF THE VERTICAL FOREST CONTRIBUTES TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF A MICROCLIMATE, PRODUCES HUMIDITY, ABSORBS CO2 AND DUST PARTICLES AND PRODUCES OXYGEN.”
President of the Yang Zi Group said that the towers have been designed so that the balconies can support trees that can grow up to 9 meters tall, and each plant and tree will be tested in a wind tunnel to show if they can stay upright in the event of severe winds or storms. He said:
“THE VERTICAL FOREST HAS MANY ADVANTAGES, INCLUDING REGULATING MICROCLIMATE ENVIRONMENT, ISOLATING NOISE AND REDUCING THE HEAT FLOWS BETWEEN BUILDINGS AND THE OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT. THE VERTICAL FOREST IS A METHOD TO COPE WITH THE MASSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS. INSTEAD OF HORIZONTAL EXPANSION, IT ALLOWS THE CITIES TO GROW VERTICALLY AND REDUCE POLLUTION AS WELL AS ENERGY CONSUMPTION WITH MULTIPLE TREES AND OTHER KINDS OF PLANTS.”
This is a great sign of things to come for China, and as the worlds largest polluter and consumer of fossil fuels, it is definitely about time they started making an effort to clean up their act. To finish, here’s a lovely video courtesy of TedTalks, which explains the benefit and functionality of the vertical forest…