The Crown Estate, a London-based commercial real estate company, has partnered with Westminster City Council and cleantech specialist Evergen Systems to install a CityTree in London’s West End.
CityTree is a living wall that is designed to ‘harness the power of nature’ to combat air pollution and over-heating in cities. It is billed as the world’s first intelligent biological air filter. It was developed by German company Green City Solutions, and is distributed in the UK by Evergen Systems.
It combines cultivated moss and plants, and works by creating an environment for moss to thrive in. Moss is a potent natural air purifier, however it is unable to survive in an urban environment as it needs constant water and shade. Plants provide the shade, and a built-in irrigation system provides the water. The ‘tree’ powers itself via solar panels and collects rainwater which it then redistributes to the moss.
It is capable of reducing particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide by 30 per cent, and, according to Green City Solutions, has the air purifying ability of 275 natural trees, whilst only occupying one per cent of the space.
The installation comes after four committees in the House of Commons joined forces to demand that the government address the “national health emergency” of poor air quality.
Cllr David Harvey, cabinet member for 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.”
“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 made more strides to clean up our air and tackle poor air quality for residents and visitors alike.”
Peter Sänger, founder and COO of Green City Solutions said: “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 years to come.”
Founder and CEO of CityTree’s UK distributor Evergen Systems Sukhbir Sidhu said: “Getting the CityTree to London has been a two-year journey and we are very excited about the future for clean air in our towns and cities.”
CityTree has also been installed in a number of cities across Europe, including Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam and Oslo.