China Builds “Forest City”

Category: Science/Environment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. commission / kəˈmɪʃ ən / (v) – to assign someone to perform a specialized task

    The government commissioned the agency to manage the new project.

  2. greenery / ˈgri nə ri / (n) – a place with plants

    The air quality in our neighborhood is good because there is a lot of greenery.

  3. lush / lʌʃ / (adj) – growing healthily

    The park was praised for its lush trees.

  4. blueprint / ˈbluˌprɪnt / (n) – a plan or model that others can use

    The successful tree-planting event became the organization’s blueprint for future projects.

  5. battle / ˈbæt l / (v) – to fight against something

    The community is battling air pollution.


Read the text below.

A “forest city” that will help combat pollution is underway in China.

Situated in Liuzhou / ˈlyuˈdʒoʊ / , a city in South China, the 342-acre forest city will be comprised of offices, schools, hospitals, hotels, and residences for around 30,000 people.

According to Stefano Boeri [bo-e-ree], co-founder of commissioned Italian architectural firm Stefano Boeri Architetti, they aim to construct an urban environment out of greenery. He believes that China provides the ideal setting for a large-scale project.

The forest city will be surrounded by 40,000 trees and around a million plants of over 100 different species growing on building balconies and rooftops. Parks, gardens, and streets will also be covered in lush greenery. Once full-grown, these plants will absorb 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 57 tons of pollutants. Around 900 tons of oxygen will be produced.

To promote an eco-friendly environment, renewable energy sources will be utilized. Geothermal energy will be used for indoor air conditioning, while solar energy will generate electricity in buildings.

If the project turns out to be a success, the forest city could serve as a blueprint for sustainable urban planning and development for other countries battling pollution.

Although the forest city’s construction has already begun, it is expected to take three more years to be completed.

Aside from China’s forest city, other eco-friendly projects designed by Boeri’s team have been completed in other countries. In 2014, the Vertical Forest, which features two towers with 900 trees and 20,000 plants, was constructed in Italy.  Another project, the Tower of Cedars, is a 36-story building covered in trees.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Would you like to live in a forest city? Why or why not?
• What would be the main challenges of maintaining a forest city?

Discussion B

• If you could design your own sustainable, nature-inspired city, what would it look like? Describe.
• What areas in your country would benefit the most from eco-friendly structures? Explain.