31 December 2019: Interesting story issued on the last day of the year from Waltham Forest Borough announcing that it is to be the first council to have “permanently installed two City Trees in Leytonstone. CityTree is a free-standing outdoor air cleaning system that uses the power of biotechnology to emulate the pollution-reduction benefits of 275 urban trees.”
The press release goes on to provide some further detail on the CityTree, which is apparently a “… self-sustaining structure that contains a water tank, with automatic irrigation and plant sensors all powered by on board solar panels and batteries. The different types of moss bind environmental toxins such as particulate matter and nitrogen oxides while at the same time producing oxygen. Cutting-edge integrated technology can deliver comprehensive information on air filtering performance and status as well as environmental data on the CityTree’s surroundings.”
There’s no image of what this technology look’s like on the news release – but Westminster Council ran a pilot earlier this year – which includes a picture of what the CityTree looks like – which can be seen on AirQuality News’s website here, which also states the “technology has previously been trialled in Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam and Oslo. It is being supplied in the UK by green technology firm Evergen Systems.”
A blog on the Evergen website sets out some pretty remarkable results of 2018 field tests undertaken in Delhi, where it has also been installed. There’s not much detailed data at the moment that I can find out on the CityTree, but I’m sure the recently appointed Waltham Forest Climate Emergency Committee, which I sit on, will be examining CityTree at a forthcoming meeting.