Why plant trees when you can install glowing treepods?

Glowing blue trees

SHIFTBoston and a pair of Paris urban designers have come up with an idea for treepods that would not only filter carbon dioxide out of the air but use solar panels to generate the electricity needed for the filtering and for displaying "colorful light during the evening." A seesaw at the base of each tree would provide a fun outlet for visitors and provide additional energy to the trees.

Their design is based on dragon blood trees, which, in addition to looking like something out of Avatar, provide a large number of surfaces for bringing in carbon dioxide.

Via Andrew Abbott.



Free tagging: 


This is one of the most

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This is one of the most awesome things I have seen in a while! BRING THEM!!!


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Compressing and sequestering the CO2 takes energy. So does some of the "humidity swing" steps that pull the CO2 off of the scrubber technology being discussed inside the "tree". On top of that, they want to add energy requirements for lighting the thing up too?

Seems like a real waste considering the same technology could be put to use on the output of the energy plants that would be generating all of this electricity (the seesaw is a nice touch, but probably wouldn't even drive the lights for 4 hours).

These would probably be much more practical once we move to nearly 100% clean energy sourcing.

perfectly correct on the

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perfectly correct on the energy plant part.

Easier and more efficient to remove CO2 at the source, where it is concentrated, than in the general atmosphere where it is ~400 ppm.


However, what about maintenance? Trees are killed through neglect, because there is often no thought that a budget for maintenance would be needed.

Then again, what is the maintenance on this - and what damage would climbers and taggers do? Or would the tree just electrocute them ...


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Installing these in Boston would be the final push I need to move away to somewhere that still has "old timey" trees. . . you know, the ones that live and grow.

Why can't an arborist pick a

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Why can't an arborist pick a resilient tree to suit the conditions? Wouldn't that be simpler and more cost effective than some NASA engineered artificial tree?

Why substitute fake trees for trees?

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Let's see: convert sunlight into energy, provide shade, and remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Isn't that what good ol' trees already do? Why plant a fake tree when a real one will do?

Sure, manufacturing a bunch

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Sure, manufacturing a bunch more fake junk is the solution to an environment degraded by manufacturing a bunch of fake junk. The perfect solution for hipsters who believe change is a lack of change done with style.


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Folks are reacting as if this has a chance of ever becoming reality. Really - are ya that freakin' gullible?

Some cheesy computer graphics, fancy words, and, what? Hideously complex objects made of PET plastic containing, somehow, complex electrochemical processes, solar cells, LED night lighting, and what else? Orgasmotrons, sure, lets toss that onto the list of features, it is as likely as the rest. Oh, and let's pretend this imaginary crappola would somehow stand up to our northern atlantic urban climate, oh yeah.

C'mon, a town that can barely get grass planted on the Rose Kennedy Scar isn't gonna go putting up any pods, much less this sort of imaginary foolishness.

Public transit that doesn't collapse when it gets too hot/cold/wet/popular, streets that don't eat vehicles, sidewalks amenable to walking, public spaces with working amenities, those are more likely to happen before 'pods'.

In the meantime, can I interest you trolley-blimps circumnavigating the city in an aerial "urban ring"? With LED lighting! Made using recycled shopping bags, and solar cell-powered! Emitting ionic breezes to refresh everyone! I bet I can photoshop up some dandy visualizations to swoon over...

Look Great

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Practical considerations aside, these are cool and would be great on City Hall Plaza. I view them more as works of art than as come logical way to clean the air. Maybe they could get some business or businesses to sponsor them?

Something about cities and trees...

Aren't cities supposed to be manufactured living/working/playing environments? Why so much angst about trees? I'm not opposed to real trees, but this is a city, let's remember that and accept that there needs to be space for other things. These look like a really interesting feature for public space, part art, part playground, part environmental education.

I hope it happens.