A new city being built along the Liujiang River in China's Guangxi Province will include houses, recreational spaces, offices, hotels, schools, and a hospital—and yet it's "unlike any before," per Inhabitat. The Liuzhou Forest City, to be connected to the much larger city of Liuzhou via an electric rail line, will look much like an actual forest with all buildings spread over 175 hectares covered in 40,000 trees and almost 1 million plants. The greenery, more than 100 different species of it, is expected to produce 900 tons of oxygen per year while absorbing 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants in an effort to combat air pollution, which is linked to 1.1 million deaths in China per year, reports CNET.
The plants will also serve "to decrease the average air temperature, to create noise barriers and to improve the biodiversity of living species, generating the habitat for birds, insects and small animals," say architects at Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti, whose design for a "vertical forest" tower in Milan, Italy, is now being replicated in the Chinese cities of Nanjing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The Liuzhou Forest City will also use geothermal energy for heating and cooling and solar panels for electricity. Some 30,000 people are expected to move in when construction is completed in 2020, reports New Atlas. The Guardian reports a second forest city in Shijiazhuang is expected to follow. (China already hosts the Smog Free Tower.)