Smog-fighting urban sculptures

By Kathryn Cuddihy

Air pollution is a problem that effects cities all over the world. With populations expected to keep increasing in urban areas, the problems associated with smog and poor air pollution will have consequences for years to come.
Image source: Studio Roosegaarde

The Dutch city of Rotterdam is the first in the world to produce an urban sculpture that has the ability to suck in polluted air and produce an output of clean air.

Image source: Studio Roosegaarde

The structure acts as a giant ‘vacuum cleaner’ with the ability to clean 30,000 cubic metres of air in one hour. They are environmentally friendly as they run off wind power and also give back to communities as they output clean air into the atmosphere. The first was built using crowd funding at a price of $177,910. 

The structure itself has the ability to suck in polluted air, remove particles and blow out fresh air out of vents on the structure. The remaining particles are then turned into cufflinks or rings; each piece of jewelry is the equivalent of 1000 cubic metres of clean air and are sold.

Image source: Studio Roosegaarde

Urban art creates not only increases the beauty of a place, it can also create discussion and when the bi-products can be used to make products, why wouldn't we adopt these. Cities like Beijing and Mumbai could already use these to assist in reducing smog levels. Perhaps we could adopt these on freeways or in built up urban areas to beautify them as well as reduce pollution to allow those living in surrounding area the cleaner air they deserve.

To read more about these structures, visit:


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