China breaks ground on world’s first forest city

China has broken ground on the world’s first ‘forest city’, which will feature 40,000 trees and 1 million plants. Solar panels and geothermal energy will provide inhabitants in the city of Liuzhou with electricity.

Designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, the forest city will be home to 30,000 people when it is completed in 2020, reported the Handelszeitung.

All buildings in the city – residential, office towers, hotels, schools and a hospital – will be covered with trees and plants. The objective: to absorb 10,000 tonnes of CO2 and 57 tonnes of fine dust from the air per year. The plants are also expected to produce some 900 tonnes of oxygen each year.

“For the first time in China and in the world, an innovative urban settlement will combine the challenge for energy self-sufficiency and for the use of renewable energy with the challenge to increase biodiversity and to effectively reduce air pollution in urban areas,” wrote the architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti.

Liuzhou Forest City will feature geothermal energy for interior air-conditioning and solar panels on the roofs for collecting renewable energy, added the architects.

The air filtering aspect in the overall concept is particularly relevant to China, explained the Handelszeitung, which is why Boeri is also building two green-covered towers in the city of Nanjing. According to his vision of sustainable development, several smaller forest cities are preferable to megacities, and Liuzhou Forest City could act as a new model for similar projects around the world.

Boeri came to forest fame after he built a pair of plant-covered residential towers in Milan called Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest).

Construction on a similar residential project is expected to begin this year in Lausanne: La Tour des Cèdres (The Tower of Cedars) is a 117-metre high building that will be planted with cedar trees, shrubs and plants, covering a surface of around 3,000 square metres.


Image credit: Stefano Boeri Architetti

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