Super Trees

As of 2008, the world became, for the first time, more urban than not. More than half the world’s population lived in an urban setting.(1) If these trends continue, we can expect to see another 2.5 billion people in urban areas. Managing these cities has recently become a priority, and at the forefront of this issue is sustainability. It’s interesting to see what some cities have come up with in terms of urban development.
One example exists in Singapore. In June of 2015, three waterfront gardens were opened to the public which featured “supertrees.” These are solar powered, mechanical structures which collect rain water. According to CNN, the goal of these structures is to “generate electricity:11 of the supertrees are fitted with solar photovoltaic systems that convert sunlight into energy, which provides lighting and aids water technology within the conservatories below.”(2)
This project is a good monument to the amount of success for such projects. It meets all five factors of sustainable development. It is a testament to the health and nature of the surrounding area because it relies on the earth’s climate to function. It uses solar energy, solving both energy and economic problems. It is environmentally friendly for this reason as well. How could a tree not be green? And finally, it meets the social equity aspect because it is open to the public.
This project serves as a reminder how powerful nature is and how important it is to integrate it into our cities. Hopefully this will set an example for sustainable development in the future.

Singapore's 250-acre green development, Gardens by the Bay, is part of Singapore's redevelopment and new downtown area at Marina Bay. It features three waterfront gardens -- Bay East, Bay Central and Bay South, which opens to the public on June 29.

Works Cited

1 http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html

2 http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/08/world/asia/singapore-supertrees-gardens-bay/

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8 thoughts on “Super Trees

  1. I like this project. One of my classmate in architecture has the same concept to this project. She tries to design a scaffolding of University Hall that collects rain drop. The shape is the same with the Super Tree that has a funnel shape. It able to collects the rain drop and transfers to freshwater for the resource. And I think it’s great, and it has a multifunction purpose.
    The source below is an interesting project that collecting the rain drop for the plants: grow food and produce water.
    http://www.roots-up.org/single-post/2015/03/17/Design-of-a-Dew-collector-Greenhouse

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is very good idea to saving and collecting energy. In order to build the super tree, the city would have to consider how much space and how tall could the super tree build up.

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  3. Oh wow! That is amazing. Even the word “Super Tree” sounds fascinating. It will be great if the City of Chicago would do the same thing. How do they know the size they would use to make a super tree?

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  4. These trees look so cool! It’d be awesome for Chicago to have these. Not only are these good environmentally and economically, but they could potentially bring a lot of tourism, which would do a lot of good to the city.

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  5. This is neat! It’s an awesome innovation that combines a nature-esque design, connecting nature with urban environments while creating sustainable energy. AND it collects rain water for water conservation?? That’s amazing. I looked up the Gardens by the Bay website (http://www.gardensbythebay.com.sg/en/the-gardens/our-story/introduction.html) it really is a great way for nature and urban systems to live together, enforcing the four pillars of sustainability like you explained. I hope more cities take Singapore’s idea and do this as well.

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  6. Since I wrote about Smart Lightpoles I wonder if they could also implement the proper technology to transfer sunlight into energy. It was not mentioned in any of the articles I read but I’m sure it would not be too difficult.

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  7. Trees are very important in our ecosystem as they provide a natural system or removing CO2 form the environment. More emphasis has to be placed on replanting areas devastated by fires and construction as the human race impedes upon nature. This system appears to be a plausible imitation of nature in recycling of resources normally allowed to be wasted. With more innovation like this and a strong commitment to plant real trees our environment may be able to survive for future generations.

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