Air pollution is one of the major urban problems across big cities around the world, but German company Green City Solutions believes it has found the solution with its innovative new CityTree, a seemingly perfect combination of nature and design
Air pollution is a prolonged urban issue, but governments around the world are still looking for ways to effectively tackle the problem. Figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that outdoor air pollution claimed the lives of 3.7 million people in 2012, representing 6.7 per cent of total deaths that year. Causing lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and both chronic and acute respiratory diseases, air pollution has reached critical levels, with developing countries reporting higher casualties due to limited resources to deal with the crisis.
Trees, the lungs of the planet, are the obvious solution, being precisely designed to absorb and reduce roadside pollutants, but in big cities such as Hong Kong, scarcity of land makes planting them difficult. Enter German company Green City Solutions, whose CityTree promises to be a ground-breaking development to solve air pollution. Comprising a combination of more than 1,700 moss plants, CityTree naturally absorbs airborne pollutants to help improve roadside air quality.
"Each CityTree can reduce air pollution within a radius of 50 metres by 30 per cent. This amount is equal to 275 oak trees, which means a CityTree takes up less than one per cent of land compared to oak trees," says Dénes Honus, CEO and co-founder of Green City Solutions, a biotech and Internet of Things (IoT) startup.
A network of tangible objects embedded with electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity, IoT enables these objects to collect and exchange data. Along with solar power and water reservoirs, IoT offers significant convenience in maintaining CityTree, which subsequently requires just a few hours of maintenance a year.
This is an excerpt from the “A Pollution Solution" article from the April 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.
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