Most factories gobble up natural resources while belching out pollution – but could these mammoth buildings actually benefit the cities of the future? Designers Tianshu Liu and Lingshen Xie just unveiled plans for a cleaner and greener vertical factory that doubles as a self-sustaining ecosystem. The soaring structure consists of alternating layers of industry and nature that support each other to create a sustainable urban environment.

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The forward-thinking design recently came in second place in the 2017 Evolo Skyscraper Competition. The multi-layered complexes would actively contribute to the environment of megacities, emitting zero CO2 emissions, improving local energy efficiency, and providing a higher quality of life for factory workers.

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Related: China plans its first “Forest City” to fight air pollution

The vertical factory was inspired by the rapidly-growing city of Manila, where urbanization is spawning new industries and more pollution. The Vertical Factory would ensure green growth by transforming the city’s organic waste into water, fertilizer, heat and electricity.

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Via Evolo