Forest city? It's a jungle in there

Qiyi City Forest Garden in Chengdu was built in 2018, with every balcony designed with space for plants to grow. With few tenants to care for the plants, the towers were overrun by them and invaded by mosquitoes. Due to an infestation, only a handful
Qiyi City Forest Garden in Chengdu was built in 2018, with every balcony designed with space for plants to grow. With few tenants to care for the plants, the towers were overrun by them and invaded by mosquitoes. Due to an infestation, only a handful of families have moved in.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Qiyi City Forest Garden in Chengdu was built in 2018, with every balcony designed with space for plants to grow. With few tenants to care for the plants, the towers were overrun by them and invaded by mosquitoes. Due to an infestation, only a handful
Qiyi City Forest Garden in Chengdu was built in 2018, with every balcony designed with space for plants to grow. With few tenants to care for the plants, the towers were overrun by them and invaded by mosquitoes. Due to an infestation, only a handful of families have moved in.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BEIJING • An experimental green housing project in a Chinese mega city promised prospective residents life in a "vertical forest", with manicured gardens on every balcony.

All 826 apartments were sold by April this year, according to the project's estate agent.

But instead of a modern eco-paradise, the eight towers look like the set of a desolate, post-apocalyptic movie.

The problem? Mosquitoes love the plants too.

Due to an infestation, only a handful of families have moved into Chengdu's Qiyi City Forest Garden, state media reported.

The project was built in 2018, with every balcony designed with space for plants to grow, according to media reports. With few tenants to care for them, the towers were overrun by the plants - and invaded by mosquitoes.

Plants have almost swallowed up some neglected balconies, with branches hanging over railings, footage shot this month showed.

Paper was seen taped over some of the windows that were still visible behind the overgrown plants.

But some residents appeared to have braved the mosquitoes - a handful of balconies had pruned plants and there were outdoor furniture and lights turned on inside the apartments.

Only about 10 families have moved in, according to the state-run Global Times newspaper.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2020, with the headline 'Forest city? It's a jungle in there'. Subscribe