How CityTrees, Related Vegetation Reduce Pollution, Improve Health.
The CityTree “has the same effect as 275 urban trees, but requires 99% less space,” we learned today.
Developed by Germany’s Green City Solutions (GCS), these sculptural structures contain specific plants to remove the dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases from our low-lying smog.
Often doubling as billboards or benches, these have been designed to fit where there simply isn’t space to plant the real deal.
Each tree offsetS 240 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per year.
An IoT tree?
If this wasn’t enough, the CityTree is also smart and self-sustaining.
The unusual green street furniture uses sensors to measure environmental data; the box garden can then correctly regulate the nutrition, water, and minerals its plants need to thrive.
“Thanks to solar panels and rainwater retention systems, the unit requires only a few hours of maintenance per year,” says Hensel.
WiFi, iBeacon, NFC and digital screens also allow CityTrees to transmit digital and visual information, while companies who want to pay to advertise on them can add lighting, logos or LED panels.
The technology behind the CityTree is a result of over 10 years research at the Dresden University of Technology, Lancaster University and University of Bonn.
Coming to a city near you?
Having announced a seven-figure round of funding earlier this year, GCS now looks firmly set on taking on the metropolises of the world.
CityTrees have already graced many European cities, while current installations are taking place in Hong Kong, Oslo (Norway), Paris (France), Skopje (Macedonia), and Dresden and Hannover (Germany). A new pilot is about to launch in Modena, Italy.
Given that air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental health risk (according to WHO, it’s the cause of every seventh death worldwide), we love to see inspiring green innovators taking a stand.
“Our vision is to mitigate climate change and fight air pollution,” says Hensel. “We’re creating a future where all the cities in the world can provide clean and cool air for their inhabitants again.”