According to a startling statistical figure from WHO, in 2012, some 7 million people died – one in eight of total global deaths – resulting from various types of exposure to air pollution. Considering the sheer scale of this global health predicament, solutions are more than welcome – and one of the latter potentially comes forth in the form of the aptly named CityTree. Contrived by Green City Solutions, the engineered ‘organism’ in question is touted to have the air-purifying capacity of 275 actual trees.
This naturally raises the question – what exactly is the CityTree composed of? Well according to its designers, the contrivance is basically a moss culture enclosed within a nifty rectangular compartment. In fact, the dimensions of the product equate to only 13 ft of height, 10 ft of width, and 7 ft of depth. However in spite of its compact bearing, the very nature of moss culture allows it to have far greater leaf surface area than any other plant life. In essence, the advantage of larger surface area allows the moss to effectively mitigate and filter dust particles, nitrogen dioxide and ozone content from the proximate air, while also reducing the temperature of the surrounding space.
Now interestingly, the ‘green’ side of the technology doesn’t just stop with the purifying of air. The designers have made it clear that the operative scope of the CityTree is fueled by installed solar panels (as a part of the system) and the concocted energy is further stored in batteries. This is complemented by an autonomous provision of water and nutrients, aided by a built-in tank (that is also equipped to collect rainwater). The autonomous factor is rather improved with pollution sensors that can analyse the soil humidity, the local air quality and the working status of the CityTree itself.
When translated to figures, the green contraption can accumulate over 250 g of particular matter each day, while contributing to the removal of 240 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. And the best part is – CityTree has been successfully installed in at least 20 cities around the world, including Oslo, Paris, Brussels and Hong Kong. And while its $25,000 price tag is a bit on the higher side, the designers are confident that the ultimate advantage far outweighs the initial cost, especially in cramped urban conditions that are not conducive to planting trees. To that end, the company is already looking forth to introduce their solution to India, a fast emerging market for green technology.