Boeri’s flagship Vertical Forest is a $60 million, geothermally heated, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold building in Milan completed in 2014. In summer months, the Vertical Forest can reduce the building’s surface temperature by 54 degrees Fahrenheit, cooling the inside by as much as 5.4 degrees. The designer’s next project will do much more than build a Vertical Forest on a city block. The Italian architect plans to turn a 556-acre section of the metropolis into a “Forest City,” with dozens of Vertical Forests stretching across five multi-use districts. Based on the data from Boeri’s one-off Vertical Forests in Milan and elsewhere, the Forest City could have a massive impact, removing tons of carbon dioxide from Shijiazhuang’s air and reducing the levels of toxic particulates to safe, habitable levels. Shijiazhuang proper spans 825 square miles and is the largest city in northern China’s Hebei province-almost three times the size of New York City. Based on each Vertical Forest’s green cover and the design’s scale, the project could create millions of square feet of forest, all within one square mile of city space.
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