‘CityTrees’ that can improve air quality are being placed in two locations in Cork under €4m funding which has been approved for investment works in the city by the end of November.
The investment is part of the green stimulus package announced by the government, and it will include projects such as improving lighting, footpath and cycle facilities across the city.
The ‘CityTrees,’ which are planned for two locations in Cork, are produced by Green City Solutions in Germany and each one can clean the same volume of pollutants as 275 individual trees.
The devices have the ability to bind environmental toxins while also producing oxygen and they will also provide a seating area.
The CityTrees, which have been dubbed “cyber trees” have received some criticism from the public, though Green Party Councillor Oliver Moran has said that the new devices are not intended to replace real trees.
“I think we need real trees and that’s something that City Council has been looking for and there are actually 30 real trees planned for the city.
“But, the funding is intended for transport initiatives and it is to promote sustainable and active transport so actually, they [the CityTrees] come under the heading of furniture and they are intended to support a better city and to promote walking but they also to have these facilities there to promote cleaner air quality,” said Mr Moran.
“It’s important to promote and encourage new and novel ideas.
“Something I would like to see would be the continuous monitoring of the effectiveness so that we and other cities can learn from what we are trying out here,” he added.