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The latest innovation to be seen in London is this ‘City Tree’ at Piccadilly Circus. I spotted it on 17th March (the day after it was installed) between doing some St Patricks Day pics and photos of a march down Regent Street. The tree claims to combat air pollution in a new and interesting way. The idea isn’t new really, its simply a small version of the several green walls that can be seen around London.
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The new ‘City Tree’ in Glasshouse Street
The design has so far been set up in a number of European cities, Amsterdam having eight of them. Glasgow was very early in on the action having one set up in mid June 2017 outside the city’s museum of art (GOMA) on Queen Street.
I don’t care much for the design even though it has a pair of benches incorporated into the structure. Its not really fitting in with the idea of conservation and environment, simply being a structure that mimics the straight sides and tall towers of the city.
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The Crown Estate who own much of the land and property in this part of London are responsible for the ‘tree.’ The initiative I applaud and the tree does have its uses, it performs the functions of it is said, 275 trees alone in scrubbing and cleansing the air which is impressive.
However in my view it would be better as something linear, with water features, proper flower beds and built in nests and cubby holes for birds and other wildlife. A visually exciting and more permanent solution. Yes I am aware the City Tree is an experiment but I do hope it does not continue in that form. Its role should really be as a stop-gap solution whilst better ways of sorting the city’s pollution are sought.
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Glasshouse Street has been pedestrianised for quite a few years now. Its a sterile location between Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus and a shame there have been no attempts to give this a better ambiance or more convivial look – and the City Tree doesn’t exactly fit either.
Regent Street Online
Environment Journal
Green City Solutions