In a bid to curb the effects of air pollution, the incorporation of urban parks as part of City Planning processes became popular. Over time, it was then discovered that these parks went beyond just trapping carbon from the atmosphere; It provided a cool spot for interaction, increased the well-being and overall aesthetic value of the city and its dwellers.
This awesome solution, however, came with a cost as the parks are capital, space and maintenance intensive. They also deny benefits in terms of accessibility and cleaner air to communities that are away from the park.
But it’s quite interesting that a Start Up has developed a Susty solution to solve this issue. They have invented a Smart Tree! Their name is Green Cities Solutions and you can find more about them here.
Smart Tree Features:
At about four meters high and three meters deep, the Smart Tree is a free standing vertical ‘wall’ which has been covered with moss and lichens. It contains a massive surface area that enables it to absorb nitrogen oxide, ozone and particulate matter.
What’s more interesting is that this single tree has an environmental benefit of 275 urban trees at 99% less space and just 5% of the cost.
Even more interesting, the Smart Tree is powered by solar and possesses IoT (Internet of Things) capabilities, thus soil humidity, water level and general plant health can be monitored remotely hence reducing the need for frequent maintenance.
It only gets more exciting as a single Smart Tree can trap about 240 tons (over 200,000kg) of carbon for a cost of about $25,000. This cost can be gotten back over time by using the side boards for Advertisement.
So far, cities such as Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, Macedonia and Hong Kong have begun using these trees.
Hopefully African cities and Governments – and even private businesses- would take advantage of this opportunity to help create cleaner, greener cities.