Egypt has unveiled its plans to host the African continent's first vertical forest in the Sahara desert.
Stefano Boeri, the renowned Italian architect and urban planner, unveiled designs for three buildings covered with pollution-absorbing trees and plants in Egypt's New Administrative Capital, which is under construction in the desert east of Cairo.
The New Administrative Capital is being built in the desert 30 miles from Cairo and will contain the main government departments and foreign embassies. It is set to replace the current capital, Cairo, which has 70 percent of its population living in informal housing.
Boeri’s Milan-based practice, Stefano Boeri Architetti, has designed vertical forests for cities around the world - but the Egyptian project will be the first of its kind for Africa.
The three apartment blocks have been designed for Egyptian property developer MISR Italia Properties.
The Italian designer is collaborating on the project with homegrown Egyptian designer Shimaa Shalash and Italian landscape architect Laura Gatti.
The project consists of a trio of cube-shaped, seven-storey buildings that will definitely be a huge attraction in the new city.
The buildings will have planted terraces containing 350 trees and 14,000 shrubs of more than 100 different species. One of the three buildings will be a hotel, while the other two will house apartment units.
Boeri's website describes the vertical forest scheme as a "project for the environmental survival of contemporary cities" designed to promote the "coexistence of architecture and nature in urban areas". They aim to regenerate urban environments without expanding the city's sprawling footprint. Each tower of trees aims to provide its human residents with an average of two trees, eight shrubs and 40 bushes each.
Construction on the Egyptian vertical forests is due to begin in 2020 and complete by 2022. The New Administrative Capital is a joint venture between Egypt's military and its housing department that seeks to boost the country's economy.
Header Image Credits: Stefano Boeri