A breath of fresh air is an invaluable thing. The cleaner the air we breathe, the healthier we are. Yet, WHO reports that over 90% of the population lives in places where the air quality isn’t up to its standards. This polluted air is dangerous and can even cause premature deaths. A Berlin-based startup called Green City Solutions (GCS) is fighting this grave issue with its solution called CityTree.
If you live in a city, you probably know all about the fine particles we breathe in. But what if you could rest on a bench and breathe in clean air free of such particles? GCS harnessed the power of moss to bind and metabolize them in the form of CityTree, and it’s the first biotech filter of its kind.
The moss, the IoT, and the CityTree
Air-purifying stations in cities aren’t a new concept. However, GCS found a way to capitalize on the power of IoT to create CityTree. This 14-foot installation can be found in several German cities, as well as London, Paris, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Lisbon, to name a few.
The comfortable wooden bench is topped by a moss-covered surface while the IoT-based technology functions on the inside. The moss comes from their vertical firm (the first one in the world) in Bestensee, Germany. According to GCS’s data, a CityTree removes up to 82% of fine dust from the air and improves its quality by up to 53%.
The huge leaf surface of moss also evaporates a lot of water, thus cooling the surrounding air. The ventilation and irrigation technologies built into CityTree ensure that the moss can thrive outside its natural habitat. And the IoT sensors collect a lot of data about the performance of the filters in real-time. Based on that feedback, the developers can determine the quality of the air around it.
“With the interplay of sensors, intelligent ventilation, irrigation, and software, we can make this natural cleaning power measurable and usable,” said GCS’ co-founder and managing director Peter Sänger. Indeed, a single CityTree can purify up to 3.5 thousand cubic feet of air. And it’s very energy-efficient – a single device only uses the power of 5 light bulbs.
CityTree isn’t the only product GCS is working on. The company is developing a modular moss wall that can be mounted on buildings called WallBreeze, and a digital billboard with a moss wall on the side called CityBreeze. The latter is intended for highly polluted areas like bus stops and train stations.
YouTube: Green City Solutions – We grow fresh air!
Photo credits: The images are owned by Green City Solutions and have been provided for press usage.
Sources: WHO / Nadja Kirchhof (T-mobile blog) / Ariane Elena Fuchs (T-mobile blog) / BusinessInsider