Many cities want to add more trees, but that’s not always possible where the ground is paved or there are too many underground pipes.
That’s why a startup from Germany created the City Tree–a freestanding living wall made up of 1,682 individual plants arranged in squares. “This doesn’t have to be put in the ground. Everything is installed with weights,” says Peter Singer, from Green City Solutions, the company behind the idea.
The 11.5-foot wall is made of concrete or wood and filled with moss, which acts as a substrate for other plants. The City Tree captures its own rainwater and has an irrigation system linked to sensors. When things get dry, it will automatically start watering.
Moss is known for its ability to capture dust and clean the air. The company hopes to sell the wall both in European and Chinese cities, which of course has a big problem with particulate air pollution. Green City will install its first wall in the German city of Reutlingen later this year.
The plant pots act as pixels and can be arranged to form logos or QR codes. That way, the wall becomes an ad or public information site at the same time. The Reutlingen installation is partly funded by an automotive lighting company.
“Our intention is to have economy and ecology because many cities have a problem with air pollution but not all cities can afford to fight the problem,” says Liang Wu, another member of the team. “We can offer sponsors opportunity to pay a fee so they have a representation in a public spot and they can finance our product.”