Inner cities are getting warmer. What can help: fake trees with ivy. Student Niels Kuijpens received a distinction for this invention.
His idea will not save the world nor make the front pages, but Niels Kuijpens’ plastic trees can contribute to the solution to a growing problem: the heat in the city. Niels (26) is a third-year Industrial Product Design student in Groningen. He worked on his invention during an internship of six months at the Groningen design agency House of Design. Tuesday he received a distinction from the school.
Fighting climate change is not enough, says Niels, we also have to adapt our behavior and our environment. Because inner cities mainly consist of stone, it can already be 7 degrees warmer there than outside the city. In the summers of 2018 and 2019, the heat on streets with only asphalt, concrete and stone was almost unbearable. A second problem is the rain. “Although we will soon have fewer days with rain, it will rain harder and longer, so that the rainwater cannot escape.”
City councils are aware of that. You see more and more green on the roofs. What really would help is more trees in the city. Trees collect rainwater and provide fresh air, shade and cooling. But trees plants in existing neighborhoods have been easier than done. A tree also takes up a lot of space under the ground with its roots. And it’s so full there. With cables, pipes and sewers. And oh yes, a tree needs up to 100 liters of water per day.
This is what Niels found on it: a fake tree, where the leaf green is formed by real leaves of a real ivy. They can grow on the ground in a container, you don’t have to dig under the ground, you can put them down like that. He has designed a frame in the shape of a tree, so with trunk and branches, in which the ivy can grow. Due to the chosen shape, his tree can also collect rainwater and store it in a reservoir. The frame is made of plastic, naturally recycled.
A dream, this tree? Still, but one that comes out. At least, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences is going to place Niels’ trees on the school grounds, Zernikeplein 7, Groningen.
View all our videos about climate change below:
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss a thing from the stars.
#Tackle #heat #fake #trees #bit #real