Art and Design, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Mar  2020, Pages 78-86; DOI:

Eco-City Construction from the Perspective of Skyrise Greenery

, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Mar  2020, Pages 78-86.


Meichen Ding 1*

1 Faculty of Architecture, Tan Kah Kee College, Xiamen University, Zhangzhou, China

Received: 5 December 2019; Accepted: 25 January 2020; Published: 8 February 2020


Due to the rapid development of the city, the ecological environment is continuously deteriorating. People hope to build an ecological city living in harmony with nature by increasing urban greenery, mitigating the heat island effect, creating public activities, improving space efficiency. This paper analyzes the concept of skyrise greenery and its environmental, humanistic, and economic benefits in the construction of an eco-city, and then, proposes to build a complete skyrise greenery system in urban three-dimensional space. Finally, the urban above-ground, underground and ground space ecological environment will be realized, by means of urban buildings (roof greenery, vertical greenery, terrace greenery, balcony greenery), urban slopes, urban bridges, urban river, urban roads, and sculptures of public spaces.


Eco-city, Skyrise Greenery, Vertical Greenery, Roof Garden

1. Introduction

Issues such as air pollution, climate warming, and energy shortage have become a crisis faced by large cities around the world. Letting nature, cities, and people coexist in harmony to build ecological cities has gradually become a new trend for everyone to respond. Green plants can not only purify the air, but also regulate the temperature and humidity of the environment, reduce dust pollution, and absorb noise, which are the key elements of eco-city. The green buildings can reduce energy consumption, and alleviate the urban heat island effect, which are the basic requirements of eco-city construction. More over creating an urban green public space and providing people with a healthy and comfortable activity environment is a necessary way for the development of eco-city as discussed where [1]. Advocating green travel for citizens and creating a fast and beautiful urban transportation system are important manifestations of eco-city.

In addition, the rapid growth of population and production living space accompanying urbanization has made limited urban space more and more crowded. Green spaces composed of natural plants are already a rare resource. The skyrise space formed underground, ground, and above ground has slowly replaced the two-dimensional space of the city. Nowadays eco-city planning in skyrise space has become an effective way to resolve the contradiction between urban land resource constraints, development demands, and environmental needs as pointed by Fei Xue [2]. How to find a balance between urban construction and natural ecology has become an urgent problem. This paper intends to explore the method of eco-city construction from the perspective of skyrise greening.

2. Concept and Research

2.1. Concept

2.1.1. Eco-city

An eco-city is, in a broad sense, a highly coordinated and harmonious ecosystem of society, economy, culture and nature. In a narrow sense, it is to design the city in accordance with ecological principles to establish an efficient, harmonious, healthy and sustainable human settlement environment.

2.1.2. Skyrise Greenery

Skyrise greenery refers to the multi-level, multi-functional greening and landscaping on the facades, roofs, underground and upper spaces of various buildings and structures to improve local climate and ecological service functions, expand urban green spaces, and beautify urban landscape.

2.2. Related Research

2.2.1. Research on Eco-City

Although the discussion on eco-city is only 16 years, a lot of research and practice have been trying to realize this concept. Eco-city research is mainly focused on the implementation of laws and regulations, green technology development. For example, the British scholar Andrew Flynn looks at the basic needs of eco-city construction through the comparison between Singapore and Tianjin, China; Jipeng Fei et al. Used technological innovation, facility innovation, and model innovation to find the possibility of achieving ecological city construction; Haiyan Lu et al. Concerned about the comparison of policies and regulations in the implementation of various ecological cities in China as discussed where [3,4,5].

2.2.2. Research on Skyrise Greening

The concept of skyrise greening is not new. Many countries and researchers have done a long time of research and practice here, especially in subtropical countries. For example, Singaporean scholar Kelly Chiang, and Alex Tan mainly study the methods of constructing skyrise greening systems in tropical cities; French artist Patrick Blanco focuses on the influence of plants on the building and the specific vertical green wall system structure; Dr. Leong Chee Chiew focuses on roof greening a in Singapore as discussed where [6,7]. China scholars Feng Xu, Lili Han, and Xianmin Wang mostly focus on practical research on roof greening design, construction, and maintenance.

3. Eco-city Construction Strategy

The construction of an eco-city requires the cooperation of the entire chain from various aspects such as policy formulation, planning, technological innovation, design implementation, and management monitoring to achieve the ultimate goal as pointed by Xu Dong [8]. In this process, no matter which link is full of unknowns and challenges. First of all, skyrise greenery is a design idea, a technical system, and a specific design technique. It has a series of industrial development processes from academic research, policies and regulations, technology research and development, implementation to implementation, and subsequent management. There have been various attempts since ancient times. Secondly, skyrise greening has the inherent advantages of solving spatial limitations and coordinating the relationship between humans and the natural environment as discussed where [9].Therefore, compared with other approaches, skyrise greening is one of the most efficient ways to promote the construction of eco-cities. Therefore, compared with other approaches, skyrise greening is one of the most efficient ways to promote the construction of eco-cities.

3.1. Skyrise Greenery and Architecture Integrated Design

The integrated design of skyrise greening and architecture refers to taking the building as the main skyrise greening as the object, and combining the skyrise greening with the building' s form, function, space, and components through corresponding strategic methods, so that the skyrise greening and the building form have different functions The elements and the surrounding environment are coordinated to become an organic part of the building as pointed by Meichen Ding [10]. The expression forms of the combination of skyrise greening and architecture can be roof greenery, vertical greenery, terrace greenery and balcony greenery, as shown in Figure 1. Other building components such as walls, columns, windows, fence handrails, stairs, scattered water, and even structures such as canopies and fences are common carriers.

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Figure 1. Common skyrise greening forms of buildings.

3.1.1. Roof Greenery

The roof is called the fifth façade of the building and is an important part of the urban landscape. At the same time, it also has huge space potential. How to develop and reuse the roof space of the existing buildings in the city, and how to give the roof a more functional role in new buildings, are the directions people are exploring today. For example, the use of rooftop space to develop urban and rural areas, or the opening of rooftop commercial shops, rooftop public leisure activity squares, etc., they all have gradually become reality in urban life.

The roof greenery can be divided into two forms: The roof garden is designed on the roof according to the actual carrying capacity and available range of the roof to create a new urban public leisure space for gathering activities (Figure 2). The other is roof greening, which is usually divided into accessible and unreachable roofs according to the form of the roof. It mainly uses light lawns or ground cover plants to simply green the roof to improve the quality of environmental greening (Figure 3).

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Figure 2. Marina Bay Dock Singapore.

Figure 3. JEM Business Center Singapore.

i. Vertical Greenery

Vertical greening in a narrow sense means that plants grow on the vertical facade of a building. It can make full use of the façade space to increase the green coverage of the building while enriching the building' s shape. In recent research, the development of a large number of modern vertical greenery systems has enabled more plants to grow into ecological green walls as discussed where [11,12]. The structure of vertical greenery system can be divided into: A green façade refers to plants grown on or adjoining a building surface, using a rope to guide the plant around it and climb towards the wall. In the past, it is knowns as traditional green façade. But nowadays, it is called the indirect green façade which can be grown on continuous guides or trellises (Figure 4). Living walls, by contrast, refer to vegetation grown in planter boxes which can be developed into modular systems attached to walls without relying on rooting space at ground level and having mechanized watering (Figure 5).



Figure 4. Examples of Green Façade.

Figure 5. Examples of Living walls.

ii. Terrace Greenery

The terrace greenery is a semi-outdoor space that fully develops high-rise buildings and transforms it into a garden for people to rest and explore. The terrace greenery not only changed the traditional internal space function of the building, but also realized greening in high-rise buildings, making the garden landscape no longer simply use the ground as the main carrier (Figure 6). The construction of the sky garden is mostly applied to office buildings, hotels, large commercial centers, and other urban buildings with concentrated crowds and large leisure space requirements. It is also one of the best ways to create urban public event space.

iii. Balcony Greenery

Balcony greenery generally refer to semi-outdoor balconies, handrails, or planting troughs on the building facade. Green space is reserved in the balcony space to ensure that there is enough space for plants to grow. With the rapid growth of plants, the building balcony finally becomes a space of green units, providing a point-like landscape for the urban ecological environment. (Figure 7)




Figure 6. Academy of Arts, Royal park Hotel, Oasis Hotel Terrace greenery, Singapore.



Figure 7. Royal park Hotel l, Marina Bay Sands Hotel Balcony greenery, Singapore.

护坡绿化-湖滨西路 (2)


Figure 8. Urban slopes greenery, Xiamen.

Figure 9. Bridge greenery, Xiamen.

3.2. Urban Slope Greenery

Cities with special geographical conditions, or because of large transportation, water conservancy, mining, power and other infrastructure construction, the topography and landforms present a large number of exposed high-cut slopes, slopes, retaining walls and natural mountain cliffs, etc. Its existence has profoundly affected the construction of ecological cities. Using artificial skyrise greening technology, such as precast concrete sashes, stepped planting troughs, lightweight net ropes, etc., a variety of plants are naturally or artificially covered on bare hillsides and retaining walls (Figure 8). This is the most common way of skyrise greening of urban slopes.The greening of urban slopes can also create unique urban landscapes and contribute to the improvement of the ecological city' s image.

3.3. Urban Bridges Greenery

In the process of urban development, structures such as interchange bridges and rail transit have become extremely important urban landscapes. The use of skyrise greenery to ecologically green urban interchanges will help create a beautiful urban environment (Figure 9). A common method is to plant winding and adsorption climbing plants to form green pillars on the pillars below the bridge; Or planting troughs such as flower beds on the bridge body, bridge deck, and central isolation zone to create green space; combine the bridge body with the surrounding environment and terrain to form a composite green space. The final combination of urban bridges and skyrise greening forms a unique urban landscape as discussed where [13].



Figure 10. Urban road greenery, Zhangzhou.

Figure 11. Urban river greenery, Chengdu.



Figure 12. Sculptures greenery, Quanzhou.

Figure 13. Temporary exhibition greenery, Quanzhou.

3.4. Urban Roads Greenery

Traffic road greening is one of the most important links in the improvement of urban ecological environment. Due to the huge number of roads at all levels, both the separation zone, sidewalks, and roadways carry a large number of narrow and narrow green belts, which together constitute the greening of urban roads. At the same time, the greening of urban roads is also one of the most direct and perceived greening in the urban life experience.

Road greening includes greening of road isolation belts, greening of roadways, greening of sidewalks, and so on (Figure 10). The reason why it is also used as one of the carriers of skyrise greening is because it is quite common to isolate green walls and green fences in urban roads as discussed where [14]. The conversion of road greening from a flat form to a skyrise form in the construction of an eco-city will further contribute to the life experience of citizens.

3.5. Urban River Greenery

Urban river channel greening can improve the urban green space coverage, and at the same time, can create leisure waterfront space with coastal landscape sketches. In addition, good waterfront landscape can also play a role in flood prevention, waterproof soil erosion and other functions. Designing the micro-topography on both sides of the river channel means that the greening of the river channel is transformed from a flat to a skyrise space. It will make full use of the longitudinal section space of the river and increase the richness of the river landscape. Therefore, people also attribute river greening to one of the skyrise greening methods. Of course, not all rivers are dominated by greening (Figure 11). In real life, the rivers people can see are mostly hard rock. With the emergence of emerging concepts such as sponge cities, greening design using soft materials such as soil and plants on both sides of the river is a more ecological, environmentally friendly, and green construction practice.

3.6. Urban Public Spaces Sculptures Greenery

In recent years, skyrise flower beds made of plants are often seen in urban public squares, street greens, and urban parks (Figure 12). They are collectively called plant sculptures. The skyrise flower bed is mainly a high and low green landscape formed by plants and sculptures of different colors. When temporary exhibitions are held in urban public event spaces, greening the display space is also a way to embed skyrise greenery into the city (Figure 13). It can be seen in public places and holiday gathering places in many cities in China, but people do not know that they are one of the common carriers of skyrise greening.

4. Ecological Benefits

4.1. Environmental Benefits

The direct impact of skyrise greening on the city is the increase of plant green space. As green space becomes more and more important in cities, it can not only reduce the heat island effect and noise pollution, but also combine with important urban structures such as urban buildings, roads, bridges, etc., thereby reducing building energy consumption and improving the durability of structures as discussed where [15]. And ultimately create a beautiful urban landscape. In addition, skyrise greening forms such as roof gardens are one of the important means of building a " sponge city" , which can effectively relieve the pressure of urban floods and drainage.

4.2. Human Benefit

The carrying capacity of any ecosystem is limited, whether it is space or population. When the construction and development of all cities want " people-oriented" , greening the environment is the best way. The color in the city can arouse people' s emotional resonance. The main tone color of the skyrise greening is green, which will make people have a real sense of closeness to nature.

4.3. Implementation Benefits

The history of skyrise greening can be traced back to the Babylonian era in Europe and the Spring and Autumn Period in China. In addition to related research in academia, as people pay more and more attention to greening, the skyrise greening industry has gradually realized its globalization, scale, diversification and legalization. It has strong implementation and manageability in the construction of eco-city.

4. Conclusions

Using skyrise greening as an ecological city construction method can not only alleviate the problem of urban environmental pollution, but also an important means of " ecological compensation" for buildings, and it is also an excellent way to improve the urban landscape. From the scope of application, it is also an important means of gradually transforming from urban diseases to strategic urban development strategies such as national ecological civilization cities, smart cities, and sponge cities. The person should fully recognize the huge potential and vast development space of this special form of greening to improve the urban environment. In addition, they also need to realize that the combination of skyrise greening and ecological city construction involves the cross-disciplinary combination of architectural design, landscape design, garden conservation, botany, ecology, sociology, urban planning, policies and regulations, etc. Systematic research and practical issues, and more people need to pay attention to discussion.

Conflicts of Interest

The author declares that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.


This work was supported by the Xiamen University Tan Kah Kee College 2018 School-level Research Incubation Project, grant number 2018L17.


The author would like to acknowledge my graduate teacher Yan Liu for letting me start researching the combination of architecture and landscape design.


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Press Limited. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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