Egypt Builds Africa's First Vertical Forest
Africa’s first vertical forest will open in Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, which is still under construction 30-miles east of Cairo.
The design includes three cube-shaped buildings. Each structure is seven stories tall and will be covered in evergreen vegetation. The complex will contain more than 100 different plant species and house 350 trees and 14,000 shrubs. Developers estimate the project will be completed in 2022.
Vertical forests combat pollution, provide shade, and create habitats for birds and insects.
The development of the New Administrative Capital aims to reduce the overpopulation, traffic congestion, and air pollution affecting Cairo. The vertical forest aligns with the goals of the new city by reducing urban sprawl and providing environmentally friendly housing. Egypt’s vertical forest will contain thousands of square feet of foliage. Designers estimate the plants will absorb 7-million tons of carbon dioxide and produce 8-million tons of oxygen annually.
Italian architect Stefano Boeri designed the structures, which include one hotel and two apartment buildings. Boeri built the first vertical forest in Milan, Italy in 2014. Bosco Verticale, Italian for “vertical forest,” encompasses two residential towers—the largest being 26 floors and the smaller 18 floors. Together the structures house 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 perennial plants to help mitigate smog and produce oxygen. The vegetation also protects the condominium units from noise pollution and dust.
Boeri has also designed vertical forests in China, The Netherlands, and Albania. For the Egyptian project, he is working with a local Egyptian designer, Shimaa Shalash.