“Hybrid Forest” Beijing Urban Renovation| 城市防雾霾绿化景观设计
Beijing, China 北京，中国
New chimney cover in Beijing | 烟囱绿化系统
"Green forest" in hutong space | 胡同绿化（防雾霾）系统
Design Date: 2016.10
Design Team: Martin Miller, Mo Zheng, Yan Meng, Frank Lee, Luke Theodorius E. D. Santoso, Chiao Wang, Zhi Wen Sun
For residents of Beijing, air quality is a part of daily life, clear blue skies are celebrated as rarities while many citizens spend most days hiding their faces behind masks. Through Hybrid Forest the city can utilize the natural pollution fighting abilities of carbon hungry plants to reduce air particle pollution. These systems are simple light weight retrofits capable of adapting to any existing urban infrastructure. Additionally, the systems are potted and do not require penetrating
the blanketed hardscape that covers most urban spaces.
The green addition also functions to beautify the city, by adding living organisms directly to existing infrastructure once cold harsh spaces becoming inviting. This research is seen as a simple first step to provoke and encourage the city to invest in natural means of air purification. Through systemic testing we propose a few initial
means of injecting life. There are few limitations to this system, curtains may envelope entire buildings like blankets reducing heating and cooling costs, new canopies may shade vast open squares and hutong may gain productive non interventionary gardens.
The Hutong Alley is a signature feature of Beijing. While many Hutong residences may include interior courtyards and social spaces the outer alley is generally a nondescript grey wall met at the base by asphalt. Introducing Hybrid Forest to the Hutong presents many benificial elements to both residents and visitors.
As people are inherently biophilic the introduction of plant life immediately livens a space and creates fresh oxygen at a local level. The canopies can provide shade as well as aromatic qualities. For local residents, where waste water is often cast onto the asphalt, the vines planters provide a place to dispose of grey water giving the waste a second use while preventing it from contributing to unwanted odors. Through prototyping, we experimented successfully using local squash as a possible vine species, this highly productive element brings fresh produce to locals.