Smart ‘City Trees’ installed to help tackle pollution

Project Info

Organisation Cork City Council

Project Description

Five striking high-tech ‘CityTrees’ have been installed in Cork city centre as part of Cork City Council’s Air Quality Strategy and as a site-specific solution to the challenge of air pollution and to support public health across our city. The four-metre-tall units are installed on St. Patrick’s Street and on the Grand Parade near the City Library.

Air pollution is responsible for up to 1,300 deaths in Ireland each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ‘CityTrees’ help address fine dust particle pollution as well as other pollution associated with traffic congestion. Using Internet of Things (IOT) technology, these pieces of smart street furniture are covered in a mixture of moss cultures that filter harmful pollutants out of the air. Each ‘CityTree’ can filter the air usage equivalent of up to 7,000 people per hour. The units also record the air quality around the units and have display screens for sharing information.

Air purification is achieved when the specialised culture of moss absorbs air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and emits clean air. The moss acts as a filter to ‘trap’ and ‘eat’ fine dust making it a sustainable and regenerative fine dust filter. Scientific studies by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research shows that the moss cleans about 80% of fine dust from the air.

In addition to supporting the goals of Cork City Council’s Air Quality Strategy, the City Tree’s also align with the city’s designation as a World Health Organisation (WHO) Healthy City and its digital city strategy which sets out a series of actions to ensure the city is at the forefront technological innovation.

For more information on the CityTree initiative, please visit: www.corkcity.ie/corkcitytrees