CityTrees improve air quality Valkenburgerstraat?

To improve the air quality in the Valkenburgerstraat, the city of Amsterdam will start a trial in March next year with eight so-called CityTrees. From measurements by citizens in the neighbourhood in our Making Sense Urban Airq project, the street proved to have a very bad air quality.

The CityTree (designed by the German Green City Solutions) consists of a wall filled with moss and has a claimed air purifying capacity that equals 275 trees. The wall is connected with the Internet of Things to exchange data. "Citizens are complaining about the air quality in the Valkenburgerstraat for quite some time now and the city wants to find out whether this might help", says a spokesperson of alderman Pieter Litjens of the City of Amsterdam. The eight CityTrees will cost 200.000 euros.

Particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide reduced?
Paris and Berlin already started with a test of which the results are not yet known. Amsterdam is the first city to place eight CityTrees in one street. After one year the results will be evaluated. Joost Wesseling of RIVM about the CityTrees: "I don't know whether this wil work. There are no data available that this will do what it pretends". The idea has been tried before on acoustic screens along motorways. Wesseling about those: "We compared them with ordinary concrete walls, but none of these concepts had any extra purifying effect".

The manufacturer expects that particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels can be reduced with 25% after a year. On both sides of the street, four walls will be placed with a mutual distance of 80 meter. As an example, a first CityTree will be placed at the Markenplein. Duivendrecht already has a CityTree, on the roof of the Entrada-office.

Can the Valkenburgerstreet change into a green oasis?
The street is now one of the dirtiest and noisiest streets of Amsterdam, but according to Manu Hartsuyker (who lives in the neighbourhood and also participated in our sensoring pilot) it could easily turn into a green oasis. "If the IJ-tunnel can be stretched to the Meester Visserplein, a space can be created to form a beautiful tapered park, that connects two important waterways: the Amstel river and the IJ."

(Source: ANP/Het Parool/RTL Nieuws)