Innovative ‘CityTree’ absorbs as much pollution as 275 trees

London has welcomed its first CityTree, which is hoped could go some way to reducing air pollution in the city.

Launching on Glasshouse Street, just off Piccadilly Circus, CityTree has been brought to London by The Crown Estate, with the support of Westminster city council and cleantech company Evergen Systems.

It works by creating an environment for specially cultivated mosses to thrive in urban conditions. The ability of certain moss cultures to filter out and absorb air pollutants such as particulates and nitrogen dioxide makes them ideal air purifiers. However, in towns and cities where air pollution presents the greatest challenge, mosses are barely able to survive, due to their need for constant water and shade.

CityTree believes they have solved this problem through the vertical wall which provides constant shade to the moss, and the installation powers itself via solar panels and rainwater is collected and automatically redistributed using a built-in irrigation system. The CityTree also has built-in watering and IoT monitoring, which maintains and measures the performance of the living structure.

It is claimed just one CityTree can deliver 275 times the air cleaning capability of a single tree, taking up just 1% of the space that would be needed to achieve the same results using real trees.

Cllr David Harvey, cabinet member for the environment, sport and community at Westminster city council said: ‘It will be fascinating to see what impact The CityTree has on pollution in the local area. This is just one example of the new technology we want to test across Westminster. 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.’

James Cooksey, director for central London, The Crown Estate, adds: ‘As one of central London’s major landowners, we want to play our role in improving London’s air quality to ensure our city remains a brilliant place for everyone who lives, works and visits here. There is no simple solution, so alongside our work to reduce carbon emissions from our buildings and reduce the number of vehicles on our roads, we want to test and learn from new technology.’

For more information visit Green City Solutions


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Ian Gold
Ian Gold
6 years ago

For far too long politicians, Local Authorities and Municipalities have been bashing the motorist about air pollution. This is the first time that one authority is actually doing something. We should have been investing in technologies that can reduce air pollution NOW. Not make headline statements like ban all cars by 2040 or rip off motorists with older cars with the T-charge.

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