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Air trees: the Madrid experiment

When the city of Madrid (Spain) sponsored a contest calling for ideas to climatically transform a neighborhood- to battle the urban heat island effect and the hot, dry summers-, the winners proposed something basic: trees. Not just leafy, green types, but aten meter tall technological variety capable of providing all that a 100 year old Oak might: a gathering place and air conditioning.

On a hot day, the temperature under these “trees”- made from recycled and recyclable materials- can be up to 10ºC (18 ºF ) cooler than the surrounding air. Besides the solar panels which power the trees and provide 6 thousand euros in profit per year to the city, each tree has a specific social purpose: one has a huge screen for concerts, another activities for kids.

In this video, Michael Moradiellos del Molino from [urban ecosystem] archictects gave us a tour of these life-giving trees that could be a part of the future for cities worldwide.