The Secret Capital of Moss – Bonn!

Another CityTree has left our moss farm and now provides clean and fresh air in front of the Telekom headquarters in Bonn!

A few years ago, there were already initial efforts and pilot projects in Bonn – the secret moss capital of Germany – aimed at combating local particulate pollution with mosses. At the time, the idea of the research team at Bonn University was to lay moss mats along the federal highway 562 and in this way filter traffic-related particulate matter from the air.

To understand how mosses are capable of such an extraordinary feat, one has to take a closer look at the small plants with their filigree leaves: Mosses have a huge surface area, comparable to the human lung. Fine dust particles are electrostatically attracted to this surface and stick to it, so to speak, in a similar way to a microfiber cloth. The difference to a microfiber cloth is that the moss metabolizes the fine dust particles – in other words, it “eats” the fine dust. Fine dust becomes moss. This air filter is therefore never “full” and is therefore a self-cleaning, regenerative air filter. In addition, the moss can evaporate water over the large surface, which creates a cooling effect that ensures pleasantly fresh air.

However, mosses have not only great abilities, but also special requirements for their environment. To develop their full power, they need above all shade and moisture.

In cities with high levels of air pollution, mosses have a particularly difficult time. Conditions here are different from those in their natural habitat, the forest. Heat, drought and other stress factors make it difficult for urban mosses to survive. By combining nature and technology, we at Green City Solutions have created the world’s first bio-tech filter to demonstrably improve air quality – our CityTree. With this project and further research, we wanted to continue the path of Bonn’s scientists and bring nature back to the city!

The fully automated water supply and shading provided by the wooden slats create better growing conditions for the green moss. The unique IoT technology additionally measures the environmental data and filtering performance of the mosses and thus watches over the health of the extraordinary plants.

Together with Deutsche Telekom, we have now created another integration option for the CityTree! As an option, Deutsche Telekom is now expanding our CityTrees with immission-tested mobile communications and network technology to additionally improve the digital infrastructure in inner cities. In the vicinity of the CityTree, citizens can thus surf the Internet faster even with high mobile network utilization.

The new CityTree in front of Deutsche Telekom’s Bonn headquarters thus represents not only another step toward the smart city of the future, but also the start of a successful partnership!

Gabriele Kotulla-Münster, responsible for “Clean Environment” in the Telekom Smart City Unit, and Peter Sänger, CEO and co-founder of Green City Solutions, were on site during the installation.  In the following video, they tell you more about the companies’ shared future and their visions for the road to sustainability.

Image rights: Copyright by Deutsche Telekom