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China is growing an elegant solution to its pollution problem: vertical forests. And they’re as gorgeous as they are good for the environment, not to mention your lungs.

With a population of over three million, Nanjing, China is a polluted place without a ton of room for forests of air-purifying greenery. Many of China’s larger centres are fighting similar levels of urban pollution caused by coal plants, vehicles and factories.

Enter Italian architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti and their vertical forest towers, which are designed to save space and swap city smog with clean oxygen, while also providing a healthful shot to the area’s biodiversity. The firm will be constructing the Nanjing Green Towers, the first vertical forests in Asia. A similar pair of buildings exist in Milan, Italy and another project is currently in development in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The plants dotting the skyscrapers will soak up the city’s smog and emit clean oxygen and humidity, while simultaneously providing shelter from sun and noise to those inside the towers.

Facebook/China Plus News

Plus, look at them! They’re stunning! Here’s one of the existing residential “Bosco Verticale” in Milan, Italy, that has 900 trees and 2,000 plants:

Facebook/China Plus News

Nanjing’s two buildings, which are scheduled for completion in 2018, will be lined with around 1,100 trees from 23 local species and 2,500 shrubs and plants, all of which will produce approximately 132 lbs of oxygen per day. If that forest was planted horizontally, it would cover 6,000 square metres.

The smaller building will contain a rooftop pool and a Hyatt hotel, and the larger one will house some offices, a green architecture school, a museum and a rooftop club.

How about we get a few of these in Canada? Vancouver, this would look real good on you.