China’s Liuzhou Forest City Construction Expected to Start in 2020

World’s first forest city is expected to come up in China’s Liuzhou region as the Chinese authorities plan to begin its construction next year.

In 2020, China plans to begin the construction of the world’s first Forest City in Liuzhou, Guangxi Province, China. The brain behind the plan is an Italian designer, Stefano Boeri, and his firm who are famous for their vertical forest designs all over the world.

The Liuzhou forest city is planned to house more than 40,000 trees; 1 million plants of more than 100 species, for its 30,000 residents which will absorb almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants, and produce approximately 900 tons of life-giving oxygen annually.

The forest city will also be self-sufficient and will help to decrease the average air temperature, improve local air quality, create noise barriers, generate habitats, and improve local biodiversity in the region. The whole city will run on renewable energy especially solar and geothermal, according to its planners.

The Liuzhou authorities want to build about 70 buildings cascading with foliage which will have homes, hospitals, hotels, schools and offices will be built on a 340-acre site.

The forest city is the country’s first attempt to control notorious pollution as well as accommodate its rising population. Chinese authorities have to balance both these factors while planning any more cities as it currently has over 160 cities with over a million population and all face deadly smog due to coal power plants or vehicular pollution.

The Liuzhou forest city is a pilot in a series of mini sustainable cities that could become a template for future Chinese cities. The first will be at Liuzhou, a mid-sized Chinese city of about 1.5 million residents in the mountainous southern province of Guangxi, and a second project is planned for Shijiazhuang, an industrial hub in northern China that is consistently among the country’s ten most polluted cities.

Boeri reckons Chinese officials have finally come to terms with the need to embrace a new, more sustainable model of urban planning that involves not “huge megalopolises” but settlements of 100,000 people or fewer that were entirely constructed of “green architecture”.

“They have created these nightmares – immense metropolitan environments. They have to imagine a new model of the city that is not about extending and expanding but a system of small, green cities.”

In fact, China is the world’s country with the highest rate of urbanisation, with 14 million inhabitants migrating each year to cities. This is why Boeri plans to use his famous skyscraper design they accommodate more people in a given geographical footprint than low-rise homes and thus spare agricultural land and countryside.

While the construction of Liuzhou forest city is set to get in motion next year, we remain hopeful that its success will be replicated elsewhere too.

Image courtesy: Stefano Boeri Architetti

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