This 29-year-old German farmer wants to plant 1 million square meters of moss inside the cities

Tram Ho

Imagine having a city bench that not only gives you a tool to sit back but also a place to help you breathe a little more? That is the idea of ​​Green City Solution, a German green urban solutions company that is installing a series of benches incorporating biofilter up to more than 4.2 meters in major Asian cities and Europe.

These filters do not require expensive industrial HEPA filters, but can still remove up to 82% of fine dust from the air. The secret of Green City Solution is moss carpets, a natural dust filter that does not consume electricity, running entirely on water, soil and sunlight.

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These massive air purifiers were named CityTree. It is the brainchild of Peter Sänger, a 29-year-old gardener in Dresden, Federal Republic of Germany. After a tour of cities in Europe, he was intrigued by the theme of tackling urban air pollution.

Cities are the living spaces of the future and it will bring a lot of benefits to humanity. Unfortunately the atmosphere inside the cities is not that clean ,” Sänger said.

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is killing about 7 million people worldwide each year. In areas where air quality levels exceed WHO limits, fine airborne particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cardiovascular system, posing a wide range of risks from stroke to heart disease and lung cancer.

Today, 91% of the world’s population lives in such places.

Bring nature into cities

Originally from a horticulturist studying horticulture and business management at the University of Dresden in Germany, Sänger has spent many years researching agricultural products that reduce air pollution.

I found that solutions to air pollution can only come into play if we combine it with nature, ” Sänger said. Humans can make industrial HEPA filters out of steel foil that can be thinned down to a few parts of the hair, but the process is time-consuming, energy-intensive, and means CO2 emissions and inefficient. in terms of cost.

Nature is, after all, the best air purifiers, and moss is a species that has millions of years of experience purifying the air on Earth, Sänger said. And so he wanted to develop a product that used moss for the polluted cities.

But things only took off after Sänger met Liang Wu, a student running a seminar on urban design and environmental issues. “We share our desire to develop an economic and ecological solution to this problem, ” he said.

In 2014, before graduation, the two friends gathered a group of experts in horticulture, computer science, architecture and mechanical engineering to form Green City Solution.

The company currently has 35 employees working to try to answer a simple yet challenging question: How can we bring nature into cities efficiently and aesthetically, Using nature to create positive effects on the atmosphere on a large scale?

An oasis can breathe

As you can see, the solutions Sänger and Liang Wu created were the CityTree systems, capable of purifying the breathing air of 7,000 people per hour. It is not only a bench, a moss-covered tower, but also a decorative structure combined with modern IoT technology.

Inside the CityTree towers, a fully automatic, sensor-controlled irrigation system is also integrated to provide the optimum humidity for the moss. Installed IoT software provides continuous feedback on the performance and air conditions, as well as environmental data for the surrounding area.

According to Green City Solutions, CityTree can improve the air quality around a 1 meter radius by 53%, making it extremely comfortable for those sitting around it. The fine dust passing through the moss leaves can be retained up to 82%.

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The moist moss leaves create a surface that absorbs dust by electrostatic mechanism, the surface of moss with negative charge will attract positively charged dust particles similar to the mechanism of HEPA filter. After being retained by the moss tower, 50% will become food for themselves, 25% will be decomposed by bacteria and 25% will become sediment that exists with the moss and can be removed. OK.

In addition, CityTree moss towers can also cool the air down to 4 degrees C thanks to the evaporation mechanism of water and the presence of vegetation inside it. Sänger admits that the device cannot replace greenery in cooling the whole city, but it can completely provide an oasis that allows people sitting around to feel comfortable, so they can breathe, relax and linger.

Think of a bus stop on a busy street, a street cafe, a train station, an inner-city schoolyard, even a corporate campus, ” he said. Currently Sänger has its product deployed in many such locations within cities across Europe and Asia, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Hong Kong and Cork, Ireland.

An ambitious plan


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For Sänger and his team at Green City Solutions, the mossy towers CityTree is just the beginning. The company is testing WallBreeze, a modular moss wall that can be installed on exterior walls of buildings. Using the same filter technology and system as CityTree, WallBreeze is able to provide a higher air filtration efficiency, within a wider radius where it is installed.

In addition, the company also intends to revamp the CityTree in a slimmer version, so that it could be turned into a digital billboard in the urban space.

Overall, Sänger says the goal of Green City Solution is to install up to 1,000,000 square meters of moss by 2030, integrating this natural air purifier into every city space possible. With this area, Green City Solution can help clean the air for 500 million people and remove up to 80,000 tons of CO2.

Consult Businessinsider

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Source : Genk