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High tech ‘CityTrees’ clean the air
By Michelle Robertson
A breath of fresh air in a crowded city could come from devices that provide the environmental benefits of a small forest in areas where space is extremely limited. It’s called the ‘CityTree’ - a freestanding vertical unit that is covered in moss and lichens, with a huge surface area to absorb harmful pollutants, nitrogen dioxide and ozone. The creators from the company Green City Solutions explain that each of these CityTrees has the environmental benefits of 275 trees, but takes up 99% less space and can be installed for only 5% of the cost of planting trees.
Each unit is four metres high and three metres deep. They are powered by solar panels, collect rainwater, and require very little maintenance as the soil, nutrient levels and general plant health are monitored and adjusted online. The carbon footprint of producing a CityTree is four tons, but Green City Solutions promises this is more than offset by the fact that each ‘tree’ captures around 240 tons of carbon dioxide annually. The product has already been rolled out in cities across Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Macedonia and even Hong Kong.