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You may have heard of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The gardens were thought to be an elaborately planted palace complete with mechanical irrigation from 600 BC. Unfortunately, there is no proof it ever was real, but today, there are similar plans underway near the Egyptian city of Cairo. Africa’s first planted vertical city is destined to become the New Administrative Capital in the otherwise barren desert.
The vertical wall of greenery, reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens, will absorb pollution and produce oxygen 45 kilometers east of the overpopulated city of Cairo. The greenery will provide homes and shelter for insects and birds.
Designer Stefano Boeri’s Italian- based company has built several vertical forests across the world, but this will be the first one in Africa. An Egyptian designer, Shimaa Shalaash, and Italian landscape agronomist, Laura Gatti are lending their expertise to the project. So far, the vertical forest is expected to require some 16 billion Egyptian pounds to complete.
“The idea to create a vertical forest in Cairo, which has a high level of pollution, certainly represents a challenge”, the architect told ANSA. “But there are many other projects to carry out. For example – Boeri explained – making the city’s roofs all green. Or creating an orbital forest around Cairo with green corridors entering the city. And also, replacing run-down buildings with green structures.”
According to the architect, “there are many ways to make the city green, this vertical forest is a less expensive and faster way of dealing with climate change. The objective of the vertical forest is to limit pollution. These are small efforts, but they are very important. And making people plant trees is the best way to involve them.'”
The preliminary sketches show “a triad of 7 story buildings shaped like a cube, filled with a veritable forest.”
Other details revealed so far:
“Each cube-shaped building will be 30 meters tall and 30 meters wide. Stefano Boeri Architetti estimates that between them the three buildings will hold 350 trees and 14,000 shrubs of over 100 species.”
See the early sketches for the project below:
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Boeri designed a similar project, the Bosco Verticale in Milan, two apartment buildings that are home to around 25,000 shrubs and 900 trees, planted by professional arborists. The buildings combat pollution and create a peaceful and healthy place for people and nature in the otherwise polluted urban ecosystem.
Similar projects exist in Australia’s “One Central Park” in Sydney, and Singapore’s “Gardens By The Bay.”
“The Liuzhou Forest City” is in the works for the industrial region of southern China.
“Vertical Forest, I think is one of the most important and efficient ways to reintroduce nature inside the city,” said Boeri.
Take a look at the beautiful results below from the Verge:
According to Reuters from May 2019, the green city in Egypt will be wired as a “smart city,” and the entire project could take as much as 1 trillion Egyptian pounds ($58 billion) in financing.
“Workers are rushing to build core areas of the new city to replace Cairo, the existing capital on the Nile that has become a traffic-clogged, urban sprawl of more than 20 million people.
The project, launched in 2015 by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a year after he was first elected president, aims to offer a clean and efficient base for the government and finance industry, as well as homes for at least 6.5 million people.”
See more on the Forest City under construction in China below:
Featured image: Screenshot via Instagram