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

Since several years Bonn is known as Germany’s secret moss capital. The city has earned its reputation through its efforts and pilot projects to combat fine dust pollution with the help of moss cultures. The research team at the University of Bonn had the idea of installing moss mats along the B 562 expressway to filter traffic-related fine dust from the air.

To understand how mosses are capable of such an extraordinary performance, you must take a closer look at the small plants with their delicate leaves: Mosses have a large surface area, comparable to the human lung. Fine dust particles are electrostatically attracted to this surface and stick to it, much like a microfibre cloth. The difference to a microfiber cloth is that the moss metabolises the fine dust particles – in other words, it “eats” the fine dust. Fine dust becomes moss. This air filter is therefore never “full” and thus represents a self-cleaning, regenerative product.

Additionally, due to their large surface area mosses can store and evaporate large volumes of humidity, thus generating a noticeable cooling effect and providing pleasantly fresh air for the people around.

However, mosses not only have great abilities, but also demand special requirements from their environment. To activate their full power, they especially need moisture and shade. In cities with high air pollution, mosses encounter particularly difficult living conditions. The climate here is different from that of their natural habitat, the forest. Heat, drought and other stress factors make it harder for the mosses to survive.  Support is needed!

By combining nature and technology, we at Green City Solutions have created the world’s first bio-tech filter for verifiable improvement of air quality – our CityTree. With this project and further research, we wanted to continue the journey of the local scientists and bring nature back to the city!

The fully automated water supply and the shade provided by the wooden panels create the perfect growing conditions for the green moss. By measuring the environmental data and the filter performance of the mosses, the unique IoT technology additionally ensures the health of these extraordinary plants.

Together with Deutsche Telekom, we have now created a further integration option for CityTree! From now on, our CityTrees can also be equipped with immission tested mobile and network technology to additionally improve the digital infrastructure in city centers. In the area surrounding the CityTree, citizens can thus browse the web faster even when mobile network usage is high.

The new CityTree in front of the Telekom headquarter in Bonn thus stands not only for another step towards the smart city of the future, but also for the beginning of a successful partnership!

Gabriele Kotulla-Münster, who is responsible for “Saubere Umwelt” in the Telekom Smart City Unit, and Peter Sänger, CEO and co-founder of Green City Solutions, were on site during the construction.  In the following video they tell you more about the companies’ shared future and visions:


Image rights: Copyright by Deutsche Teelekom