Vertical Forests: What Are They & How Will They Better The Environment?

The landscape of the planet is constantly changing. However, its mainly due to the humans’ need to expand and build. Everywhere you look there is construction of new homes and office buildings. However, some countries are using this to their advantage and off-setting the damage they are causing by creating vertical forests.

Vertical forests utilize the surface of the outside of building as an area for trees and other plants. Not only do they look cool, but vertical forests also soak up air pollution, produce oxygen, and boost local biodiversity.

Recently, China announced they would be building the Nanjing Green towers (designs pictured below). The tower will consist of two multi-use building and will be located in the Pukou district of Nanjing.


Designed by Italian architect firm, Stefano Boeri Architetti, the vertical forests will feature 1,000 trees and 2,500 plants and shrubbery. It will cover a total of around 64,600 square feet. It is also estimated this vertical forest will have the power to absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide annual and produce 60 kilograms of oxygen daily.

The tallest tower will rise up to 656 feet and feature offices, a museum, a green architecture school, and a rooftop club. The shorter tower will rise 354 feet and will host a hotel and rooftop swimming pool.

The towers are expected to be completed in 2018. The Chinese are also hoping to build more vertical forests in other cities such as Guizhou, Shanghai and Chongqing.

However, this isn’t the first vertical forest to be built. The Boeri firm also built 2 residential towers in Milan. These towers have 900 trees and over 20,000 plants.


Mexico has also taken a step towards better green urban planning. Mexico City’s Via Verda Project, transforms highway pillars into gardens. It is said these pillars not only help cleanse the environment but also lower drivers’ stress levels.


These vertical forests are a great step toward metropolitan reforestation and regeneration of urban biodiversity. We hope to see more of these in the future.