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World’s first city tree cleans train station air

The ‘CityTree’ combines the natural ability of living moss to bind fine dust and improve air quality, with new technologies, to clean, cool and humidify air in Newcastle Central Station.

The tree can improve the quality of 3,500 metres cubed of air each hour, the equivalent of the breathing volume of 7,000 people.

Unlike conventional air filters, the species of moss inside the 3m high structure can convert dust to natural biomass and digest it, producing oxygen, so it is never full.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) developed the tree in their innovation programme, LNER FutureLabs.

Danny Gonzalez, chief digital and innovation officer at LNER, said: ‘We’re excited that Newcastle Central Station is the first in the world where customers can enjoy a breath of fresh air from a CityTree, as it shows how new technology can be accelerated to have a positive impact on the environment in and around railway stations.

‘Drawing upon the natural benefits of living moss and combining it with the latest tech developments, we look forward to seeing the impact that the CityTree has on the station environment. It is a great example of the innovative approach we are taking at LNER, to help us achieve our ambitious sustainability goals.’

LNER partnered with German company Green City Solutions, which specialises in combining nature with digital technology, to test the CityTree within the station environment.

The CityTree will be installed at Newcastle Central Station for 12 weeks to test its impact on the station environment.

Peter Sänger, co-founder and CEO of Green City Solutions, said: ‘Our mission is to find a solution for inner-city spaces so that as many people as possible can breathe clean air. It has been great to get this opportunity to share the CityTree with the people of Newcastle and create a pleasant zone for them to enjoy the noticeably fresher and cooler air.’

In related news, the first plant topped ‘Living Roof’ bus shelter in Brighton has been installed in Palmeira Square.

Photo supplied by LNER

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