The tree that cleans urban air

Plant-based air filter taking root in cities across Europe
#urbanwow #pollutionwow
    Photo by Max Gimpel-Henning

      Tackling air pollution isn’t just about reducing CO2 emissions. For the majority of city dwellers, air quality is a major health concern. In addition, the number of people moving to cities is increasing, so cleaning up the air in cities should be a top priority. 

      Luckily, a German start-up based near Berlin has made this their mission statement. Green City Solutions have created the CityTree air purifier, after discovering that moss plants capture pollutants and greenhouse gases much more efficiently than trees. One of their public furniture structures has as much cleaning power as 275 trees and takes up only 1% of the space.  

      So how does it work? Polluted city air is drawn into the CityTree by its integrated solar-powered fan. The air then flows through the vertical moss mats and is purified and cooled in the process. Clean, cooled air then re-enters the environment through the slatted design, creating noticeably cleaner air within a 50m radius. 

      As city planners look for ways to design better solutions for people living together, these hybrid CityTrees might just be an answer to help integrate nature into our overcrowded urban lives. CityTrees have so far found homes in London, Berlin, Cork, Paris, Amsterdam and Oslo. They will surely crop up in more cities around the world, helping to reduce the number of over-polluted urban areas. 


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      © Green City Solutions GmbH