When tasked with creating a synthetic urban tree for the City of Boston (or any city) that could provide all the benefits of a real tree (de-carbonization and protection) without requiring soil and water, a team from Paris rose to the challenge. Their innovative concept is called Treepods. The systems are capable of removing carbon dioxide from the air and releasing oxygen using a carbon dioxide removal process called "humidity swing.”
Inspired by dragon blood trees, its wide branches and umbrella style tops support large solar panels. After some testing, they found out that the trees couldn’t be powered by the sun alone so they added interactive hammocks and see-saws to the base of the tree, so that humans could help create a secondary source, through kinetic energy.
The Treepods are made entirely of recycled plastic drinking bottles and light up at night.
Of course, this all begs the question, why not just plant real trees in the city? New trees would take a long time to grow, whereas these fake trees could be up and running in no time.
Could these synthetic trees be coming to a city near you? How do you feel about them?