China’s Way to Combat Their Pollution Problem

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1. A Disturbing Amount Of Pollution

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China is home to some of the most polluted air in the world. Last month, the city of Beijing went on “red alert” for smog. That is not fog you see in this photo: that’s a woman and boy wearing masks to protect themselves against the smog.

2. Using Extreme Precautions

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Understandably, people are concerned for their health. The man in this photo is wearing a gas mask, as exposure to the air pollution can leave you susceptible to some pretty nasty conditions, like asthma or chronic lung disease.

3. What’s Being Done?

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A dire situation like this can seem almost hopeless at times, but luckily not all hope is lost. In the eastern city of Nanjing, there have been plans to construct the country’s first vertical forest towers, which will work to combat greenhouse gas emissions. The project has been called “Nanjing Green Towers.”

4. Pollution In Nanjing

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Eastern Chinese cities contain the worst of China’s air pollution, and Nanjing is of no exception. Nanjing comes in at the top half of Chinese cities with the worst air pollution.

In 2013, tourism to China decreased due to its heinous amount of pollution.

5. The Two Towers

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One of these tree towers will contain offices from the eighth to the 35th floor, as well as a museum, a “green architecture school,” and a private club on the rooftop.

6. The World’s Coolest Hotel

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The second of the towers will be made into a hotel. Can you imagine opening your window in the morning to see vertical trees everywhere around you? The two buildings will reportedly have more than 1,100 trees and 2,500 cascading plants.

Not to mention the hotel’s rooftop will also have a pool, but who’s counting…

7. What’ll The Impacts Be?

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The hope is that these two forest towers will absorb 25 tons of CO2 per year, and will produce 130 pounds of oxygen every day.

8. Meet The Brains Behind The Project

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The towers were designed by Italian architect Stefano Boeri, who designed his first vertical forest project in 2014 in Milan. Milan’s vertical forests have become a little ecosystem of birds and insects, and the hope is that the vertical forests in Nanjing will do the same.

9. The ‘Anti-Sprawl’ Concept

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Boeri’s ongoing vertical forest project is an “anti-sprawl” effort, meaning it aims to reduce urban expansion. In theory, this would limit the amount of ground space that humans are occupying and would (hopefully) leave room for more natural habitats, while simultaneously decreasing pollution.

10. Technical Details

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One detail that might be difficult to figure out is how to water and care for all of the trees. Boeri says that the managing of the trees and plants is to be under each building’s jurisdiction.

11. Future Forests

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As of right now, Boeri is planning to build vertical forests in several other Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Guizhou. He’s even planning an “urban tree lounge” in Milan and a “forest city” in Shenzhen, China that will play host to 100 thousand inhabitants.

12. Quite The Sight

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According to Boeri’s website, the vertical forests act as “ecology billboards,” which could spark a major interest in the concept.

What a sight it would be if, in the future, all city buildings were vertical forests.

13. So When Will It Be All Done?

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Construction is set to be finished in 2018. So close, yet so far away…

We can’t wait to see the finished product!

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