The Philippines is supposed to be the Pearl of the Orient and yet, in EDSA, one of Metro Manila’s main thoroughfares and often the site of monstrous traffic jams–and horrible air pollution, that idea seems far-fetched. Our city needs more trees to purify the air and yet there seems little space now for trees. The few remaining robust ones seem always destined to end up sacrificed in the name of progress, just like what happened with hundreds of trees that were cut down and earth-balled in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City last May.
In many cities around the world, the air pollution is even worse. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is a major cause of death and disease worldwide. In a recent study by the International Energy Agency, it is the cause of death for 6.5 million people every year.
For the sake of the environment and our health, we need to come up with solutions and innovations to clean up the air fast.
CityTree, a wall that eats pollution for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
One of these innovations seems to be the CityTree, a hi-tech green wall that has the air purifying power of 275 trees on its surface. The secret is in the moss.
With a frame four-meters-tall and three-meters-wide, it is covered in a moss culture kept healthy by sensors that measure soil humidity, temperature, and water quality. Solar panels generate electricity while rainwater is collected in a reservoir that is then pumped into the soil.
Because moss has a much larger leaf surface area than any other plant, it is able to capture more pollutants. The CityTree can absorb 250 grams of dust, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone gases daily; removing 240 metric tons of COs in a year.
Its inventors are based in Berlin. So far, they have installed 20 CityTrees in Oslo, Paris, Brussels, and Hong Kong. They pick spots where pollution is heaviest due to traffic and where air flow is poor. They might as well have described Edsa, where smoke belching, especially from public utility vehicles, is common.
Based on the news, they are eyeing to set up CityTrees in cities with dangerous levels of air pollution. I hope they will also pay attention to us. Imagine if there is even just one CityTree in Edsa–it will be like having an entire forest that fits on a wall helping make the air more breathable for us.
Do you like the idea of a CityTree in Edsa? Share your thoughts below!
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Photo credits and source: wheninmanila.com media file/MyModernmet.com/greencitysolutions.de
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