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Asia's First Vertical Forest To Be Built In Nanjing To Combat China's Air Pollution Problem

12 February 2017, 11:30 am EST By Athena Chan Tech Times
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Massive dust storm rolls through northern China
Asia's first vertical forests will be built in Nanjing, China by Italian architects. What are vertical forests and how will this combat China's air pollution problem?  ( Stefano Boeri Architectti )

Plans to build a pair of vertical forest buildings in China have been announced. The living buildings are set to be built in Nanjing and will possibly house more than 1,000 trees and more than 2,000 other plants.

The two buildings, which are expected to occupy about 6,000 square yards of land once completed, will house a hotel as well as a museum, architecture school, and private club.

The project is in line with China's efforts to combat climate change and its persistent problem with air pollution. The towers are expected to absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year while releasing more than 100 pounds of clean oxygen into the atmosphere each day. Upon its completion, the buildings will be the first vertical forests in Asia.

Vertical Forest

The project will be headed by Stefano Boeri Architects, the very same group of architects whose vertical forest projects in Milan and Switzerland were a success. The goal is to construct buildings with green tanks and balconies which will contribute to metropolitan reforestation and support urban biodiversity. The model supports reforestation and naturalization of urban settings without the expansion, utilizing the vertical space that a building will occupy.

The very first vertical buildings were created in the group's home base, Milan, and housed 900 trees and over 20,000 plants and shrubs equal to the area of a 7,000-square meter forest.

China's Pollution Problem

Perhaps this move is especially relevant for China given the country's massive problem with pollution. China's predicament is no simple matter as their smog levels continue to reach historic levels. Only last month, over 30 cities around the country were once again placed on red alert, which is the most severe form of air pollution warning. Even so, that's not to say that the country's government isn't making any efforts to fix the problem. It is, however, not as simple as making a single move.

Since 2011, China's efforts has significantly reduced their sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions in their atmosphere, chemicals that come mostly from the industrial and residential burning and use of coal. However, it is still not easy to completely remove the public's use of vehicles that continue to contribute to carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Further, air pollution that comes from farming is not easily reduced or controlled.

China is continuous is the uphill battle coming from their years of industrial boom. It is important to note that though this giant of a country may still be far from winning this challenge, they are continuous in making concrete moves that could eventually lead them to a cleaner future. The vertical forests expected to be finished next year shows the country's incessant fight for a cleaner China.

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