London installs pollution-absorbing ‘bench’ as effective as 275 trees


Green City Solutions, a German startup, has brought their innovative CityTree bench to London this March. CityTree is a hi-tech wall and bench that has the pollution-fighting ability of 275 trees, while only taking up 1% of the actual space those many trees would need. It is seen as a functional solution to urban pollution in cities around the world.

The CityTree was brought to London’s Glasshouse Street by The Crown Estate with the support of the Westminster City Council and cleantech company Evergen Systems, the exclusive UK supplier of CityTree.

How does CityTree work? It houses a combination of mosses, which are naturally powerful in absorbing pollution and particulates, and plants, which provide the shade that mosses need to thrive in an urban environment. The CityTree is completely self-sustaining: it has a built-in watering system, installed solar panels that generate energy that is then stored in batteries, and a monitoring system that checks pollution levels, air temperature, and water quality.  Prior to the installation of the one in London, CityTrees have been installed in other European cities like Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, and Oslo.

“Air quality is the number one concern for our residents and with over a million people moving into and travelling to our neighbourhoods each day, it is crucial that we make more strides to clean up our air and tackle poor air quality for residents and visitors alike,” said David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment, Sport and Community at Westminster City Council.

“In a short time, the CityTree has already become established as an effective way to create clean air environments in some of Europe’s most polluted cities. We are delighted that London can now be added to this list and hope to see many more CityTrees across the country in the years to come,” Peter Sänger, Founder and COO of Green City Solutions, stated.

The CityTree can absorb around 250 grams of particulate matter a day. It also contributes to the capture of greenhouse gases by eliminating 240 metric tons of CO2 per year.

 

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