Ever felt nauseous after landing in a new city, walking outside, and finding that the air is incredibly polluted? The feeling is a common one in major cities worldwide, and the effects of constantly breathing polluted air are having major impacts on residents’ health. According to a study cited by The Guardian, more than 3 million people die each year as a result of air pollution.
German company Green City Solutions is doing something about it. Founded in Dresden in 2014, the brand created what looks very much like the offspring of a living green wall and a park bench. That’s essentially what it is, in fact, albeit with a heavy emphasis on the ‘green.’ Their product, aptly called the CityTree, helps polluted cities breathe easier by absorbing as much carbon pollution as 275 trees.
The CityTree is designed for functionality more so than aesthetic, although by many accounts they look incredibly fashionable as well. Instead of plants and flowers, the living element is a moss culture which is hyper-effective at absorbing particle matter from the air. The company states that each unit removes 240 metric tons of CO2 annually. “Moss cultures have a much larger surface area than any other plant,” Green City Solutions co-founder Zhengliang Wu told CNN. “That means we can capture more pollutants.”
One of the most practical features of the CityTree is that it takes up only 1% of the space that planted trees would require to sequester an equal amount of pollution, a blessing for densely crowded cities where space is a constant issue. The structure is just four meters tall and three meters wide.
This makes a CityTree location perhaps the most eco-friendly spot to stop and read over a cup of coffee or chill out while waiting for a bus or train. Green City Solutions’ product is currently installed in 20 major cities worldwide, including London, Oslo, and Hong Kong. The company’s plan is to spread their green love across the world.