A Magical Garden Cleans the Skies above Nanjing

As an avid world traveller, my greatest hope is that our earth’s treasured terrain will remain pristine for generations to come. Presently in China, the emissions of CO2 from factories and businesses have been harming the environment and polluting the air throughout the country. An undertaking involving a “Vertical Forest” proposed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, is in the process of covering skyscrapers with lush vegetation to generate clean air while preserving China’s natural beauty. With land being scarce, especially in China, the only way to build is upward, along the facade of these tall buildings. Pollution no-more! Boeri’s venture has been used in many projects across the world, including Milan, Italy and Lausanne, Switzerland. These “vertical forests” will be built as two skyscrapers in Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province.

These living and growing structures will be made up of over 1000 local trees, in addition to over 2500 shrubs and small plants to suck up smog. In total, the trees would absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide per year and 60 kilos of oxygen per day. The plants, trees, and shrubs will soak up the pollution from urban traffic. In addition to removing smog, these buildings would have other practical uses. The taller building in this new complex in Nanjing would be a high-rise building with offices, a museum, an architectural school, and an exclusive rooftop club. The smaller building will host a Hyatt Hotel with a rooftop pool and spa. The two buildings will be built on an elevated platform, which will host a shopping area, food store, restaurants, and conference center. This project is scheduled to finish sometime in 2018.

Stefano Boeri’s vertical forests will adorn the skies of Nanjing, using a unique blend of ecology, botany, and modern architecture. With these expanding and growing forests one hopes that these natural structure will replace the polluted, toxic air with clean, fresh air. As these buildings blossom and grow, admirers will watch the skyscrapers change colors with the season and blend into the city scape like a natural wonder. Finally, Boeri looks forward to his project expanding to Shanghai, in addition to other modern urban cities around the world. “Replication,” he hopes, will be useful to other experiments and innovation in the world, making our world cleaner, safer, and more beautiful.


Some information and photographs in this article came from these sources:

Boeri, Stefano. Nanjing Vertical Forest. Stefano Boeri Archietti, www.stefanoboeriarchitetti.net/en/portfolios/nanjing-towers/. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

Phillips, Tom. “‘Forest Cities’: The Radical Plan to save China from Air Pollution.” The Guardian, www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/17/forest-cities-radical-plan-china-air-pollution-stefano-boeri. Accessed 27 Mar. 2017.

There is one comment

  1. Caroline Chen

    Very well written article, Matt! I learned so much about this initiative to reduce pollution with modern architecture through your post. Great job!

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