London to benefit from pollution devouring moss tree

London CityTree in Piccadilly Circus
  • Revolutionary ‘Living wall’ moss technology has the air purifying capability of 275 natural trees and can reduce air pollution by up to 30% within a 50m radius
  • Installed for the Crown Estate by sole UK supplier Evergen Systems, the first ‘CityTree’ in London is located on Glasshouse Street
  • About 9,000 Londoners and 50,000 Britons die prematurely each year from respiratory, cardiovascular and other illnesses associated with pollutants such as NO2, particulate matter (PM) and ozone

London’s toxic air is to benefit from a revolutionary new technology which harnesses the power of nature to remove harmful particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide from the atmosphere.

Delivering 275 times the air cleaning capability of a regular urban tree, the CityTree is a pioneering piece of street infrastructure which takes up less than 1% of the space that would be needed to achieve the same results using natural trees.

Installed on Glasshouse Street just off Piccadilly Circus for the Crown Estate, the CityTree is the first technology of its type, and has been brought to London by cleantech company Evergen Systems, the exclusive UK supplier, having become an increasingly visible part of major cities like Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Oslo and Paris.

The technology has been developed by Green City Solutions in Germany and is billed as the world’s first intelligent biological air filter. 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 – but 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.

The vertical living wall of mosses with protective shade giving plants, a fully automated supply of water and nutrients, and cutting edge Internet of Things (IoT) technology has solved this problem. At the same time, air quality, filtering performance and the plants’ requirements can be remotely monitored and analysed.

The installation powers itself via solar panels, and rainwater is collected and automatically redistributed using a built-in irrigation system.

Each CityTree is capable of reducing air pollution by up to 30% within a 50m radius, and is therefore particularly effective in pollution hotspots and areas with high dwell-time.

With air quality an established priority for the Mayor of London, where the city consistently breaches legal annual air pollution limits within the first few weeks of the year, the CityTree on Glasshouse Street could be the first of many across the capital and beyond.

Indeed, Evergen say they already have orders from a number of local authorities and corporate clients across the UK, so we can expect this innovative biotechnology to become a prominent feature of the urban landscape over the years to come.

Denes Honus, Founder and CEO 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 the years to come”

Cllr David Harvey, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Westminster City Council said:

“We are very pleased that this technology has found a home in Westminster. We are urgently tackling the issue of air quality for the millions of people who live, work and visit our Borough and are excited at the huge potential of this innovation.”

Sukhbir Sidhu, founder and CEO of Evergen Systems said:

“In 2016 we started looking into technologies for cutting air pollution. 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.”

About Green City Solutions GmbH (GCS) said:

“GCS was established to leverage over ten years of research into the role of mosses in cleaning air pollution, by a number of German Universities and technical institutes. The company was founded by four graduates with specialities including horticulture, IoT technology, mechanical engineering and urban planning. It took a further three years of development to create the self-sustaining structure combining plant biology and IoT technology – CityTree.”

About Evergen Systems Ltd said:

Evergen Systems Ltd is a multi-award winning cleantech company. Since 2010 their primary focus has been installing systems and technologies that reduce energy consumption and CO₂ emissions in the built environment. With the launch of the CityTree, the company is going one step further and tackling urban air pollution. Evergen is the first company in the UK to deploy technology solutions to combat polluted air in our towns and cities.

1 Comment

  • Excellent – Anything to tackle air pollution in my City is a major plus!

    Alan March 14, 2018

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