The plan is for Smart Forest City Cancun to save a 557 hectare site that is currently serving as a sand quarry for hotels and is earmarked for the development of a large shopping mall.
The project will see the site reforested with 7.5 million plants, including various species of trees, shrubs and bushes, chosen by botanist and landscape architect Laura Gatti.
"Smart Forest City Cancun is a Botanical Garden, within a contemporary city, based on Mayan heritage and in its relationship with the natural and sacred world,” says Boeri.
“[It is] an urban ecosystem where nature and city are intertwined and act as one organism.”
Smart Forest City Cancun is part of Boeri’s broader Forest City concept, which consists of plant-covered skyscrapers throughout urban China that will help to reduce pollution.
According to Boeri, the Smart Forest City will absorb an estimated 116,000 tons of CO2, with 5,800 tons of CO2 stocked each year.
As for how the city will work, sensors will be distributed throughout the building fabric to collect and share relevant information, which will then be centrally analysed and used to improve everyday life. The city will also be self-sufficient in producing food and energy, utilising a circular economy of solar panels and farmland irrigated by an embedded water system.
Other features include an internal electric and semi-automatic mobility system that reduces the need for cars, and affordable housing for a wide variety of residents.