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China’s awesome ‘vertical forests’ designed to tackle the pollution crisis

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Sam Diss
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China has such a bad pollution problem that only 1% of the China's 560 million city dwellers breath air considered safe by European Union standards. China has such a bad pollution problem that companies are having to design water bottles that won’t let air in at all. China has such a bad pollution problem that it’s directly linked to the deaths of 1.5 million people every year.

It is, in short, not very good. The word “crisis” gets bandied about too readily but genuinely, when the most populous country in the world still burning up coal like it’s 1890 that is a crisis. So what do they do? Gardens! Trees! Plants!

This week, the architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti revealed designs for a green garden, named the Nanjing Green Towers, which will see two buildings erected in the Pukou District of Nanjing, the capital of China's Jiangsu province. 

According to a statement on the firm’s website, the buildings will host 600 tall trees, 500 medium-sized trees (for a total amount of 1,100 trees from 23 local species) and 2,500 cascading plants and shrubs will cover a 6,000 Sqm area. It is believed the gardens will provide 25 tons of CO2 absorption each year and will produce about 60 kg of oxygen per day.

The project is expected to be completed as soon as 2018. 

A garden that's a building! (Stefano Boeri Architetti)

As per IFLScience: “The taller of the two towers would be 200 meters (656 feet) high, with a “green lantern” on top, offices, a museum, a private rooftop club, and a “green architecture school”. The second tower would be 108 meters (354 feet) tall, with a Hyatt hotel inside and a swimming pool on the rooftop.”

“The firm said that these constructions help increase biodiversity, providing a place for birds and insects to colonize. The diverse plants also help to create humidity and absorb CO2 and dust, producing oxygen in the process.”

Damn. You go, increased biodiversity. 

So with China actually getting its arse in gear (or starting to, or trying to, or thinking about it, anyway) perhaps it’ll finally give you the initiative to start washing out those Nutella jars and recycling them instead of just lobbing them into your overflowing bin, you slob.

A motherfucking building that is also a motherfucking garden! (Stefano Boeri Architetti)

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Sam Diss

The Associate Editor of New Projects at ShortList, Sam enjoys making up words to annoy editors, writing features about sports, music, weird things, and cool people, and listening to Mark Morrison's 'Return Of The Mack'. He's also a fairly capable centreback. Follow Sam on Twitter: @SamDiss

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