Asia’s First Vertical Forest Could Reshape How Cities Fight Climate Change

Sourced from South China Morning Post

It might seem like blue-sky dreaming to imagine a Chinese city where you cannot see the buildings for the trees. But Italian architect Stefano Boeri can see it, and is crafting its beginnings in Nanjing, which he says will be home to the first vertical forest in China and Asia.

A move against nature-deprived urban development, vertical forests differ from the green walls and roof gardens popularised in recent times because they grow trees as opposed to vines or small potted plants.

A vertical forest is “a model for a sustainable residential building” that could actually be a solution to climate change, Boeri believes.

He first realised his concept of metropolitan reforestation with a vertical forest in Milan. Spread across two residential towers, the project, completed in 2014, featured 800 trees (each measuring three, six or nine metres tall), 4,500 shrubs and 15,000 plants.

His Nanjing Green Towers project, in China’s eastern Jiangsu province, will be bigger. It will again be based on two residential towers, but they will be higher than the ones in Milan (at 200 metres and 108 metres) and the plantings will include 1,100 trees along with 2,500 cascading plants and shrubs. The trees will come from 23 local species including holm oak, wild pear, koelreuteria, ornamental apple tree and hawthorn.

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