„Garden Rhapsody“: Die Super Trees in Singapur 
©Gardens by the Bay

22.12.20 Quirky green innovations: futuristic super trees and playgrounds at intersections Clara Müller • 6 min.

Scroll to Read
Summary

From wind farms to heat pumps, most ideas for producing green power and cutting carbon emissions area already well known. Some, however, are more offbeat and less familiar. Debate.Energy’s three-part series highlights six of them. Part two features futuristic super trees and playgrounds at intersections

Singapore’s super trees

When dusk falls in Singapore, an elaborately choreographed 15-minute light and sound show called the Garden Rhapsody begins. It happens at Gardens by the Bay, a 100 hectare park that opened in 2012. Its protagonists are 18 super trees: tree-shaped metal towers 25 to 50 meters in height on which grow more than 700 species of bromeliads, orchids, ferns, and creepers. Eleven of the super trees perform other tasks as well. Some have photovoltaic cells in their canopies to generate energy for the light show. Others serve as ventilation shafts for greenhouses below. The trees also collect rainwater to irrigate the plants, and the tallest has an observation deck. In its most recent fiscal year (2019-2020) Gardens by the Bay attracted 13 million visitors.

Barcelona’s superblocks

Poblenou war der erste Stadtteil Barcelonas, in dem die Superblocks eingeführt wurden: Der Autoverkehr wurde weitgehend verbannt, stattdessen gibt es Sitzbänke, Sportkurse, Gärten und Spielplätze mitten auf früher vielbefahrenen Kreuzungen. 
© Ajuntament de Barcelona

Barcelona's superblock in El Poblenou

Barcelona has about 1.6 million residents. On weekdays, its streets used to be clogged with 1 million vehicles. That, it decided, was too many. It responded by creating “superilles” or “superblocks,” aggregations of four to nine city blocks in which traffic is largely banned (only residents’ cars and delivery vans are allowed and they must travel at a walking pace). The program was initiated by Ada Colau, who was elected mayor in 2015. She assembled a team of environmentally conscious policymakers and urban planners to reclaim public space from cars. The result was the first superblock, created in 2017 in El Poblenou, a hip waterfront neighborhood. There are now six superblocks and there could eventually be hundreds more. The reclaimed space has been put to creative use: formerly busy intersections have been replaced by public gardens and playgrounds. The program is accompanied by measures to encourage the use of public transport. The city has added 28 bus lines and organized their routes so that no resident has to walk more than 250 meters to the nearest bus stop. It also plans to triple its network of bike paths to 300 kilometers by 2030.

What have the superblocks accomplished?

The superblock in El Poblenou, according to an analysis by weekly German news magazine Der Spiegel, now has almost no vehicle traffic. The city itself says that traffic has declined by 80% to 90% in one of the superblocks yet has increased by no more than 5% on perimeter streets. In addition, the heat island effect has become less intense. The superblocks will also likely improve Barcelona’s air quality. A study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health predicts that the superblocks will enable the city to reduce its nitrogen dioxide levels from 47 micrograms per cubic meter to 36 micrograms (the WHO threshold is 40 micrograms). The study also says that Barcelona’s greenhouse-gas emissions could be 40% lower by 2030. Finally, the superblocks will increase the area of green space per inhabitant from 2.7 to 3.7 square meters. Although still below the WHO’s recommendation (9 square meters), it will be a significant improvement.

Disclaimer

The contents of this website are created with the greatest possible care. However, Uniper SE accepts no responsibility for the accuracy, completeness and topicality of the content provided. Contributions identified by name reflect the opinion of the respective author and not always the opinion of Uniper SE.

You might also like

Energy • Economy Can electricity be both renewable and reliable? Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 5 min.
Energy • Climate Cutting carbon cost-effectively Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 6 min.
Energy • Innovation Will hydrogen’s future arrive? Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 7 min.
Energy • Climate • Economy Can our emissions be undone? Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 5 min.
Energy • Innovation • Science A British biologist’s uncanny clairvoyance Dariush Jones • 6 min.
Energy • Society • Climate A new era, a new color, a new world view Dariush Jones • 5 min.
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Energy • Society • Economy Russia modernizes its fossil power plants Dariush Jones • 7 min.
Energy • Society • Innovation Less fretting about jetting Thomas Schmidt • 4 min.
Energy • Innovation Harnessing more renewable energy, decarbonizing industry Thomas Schmidt • 3 min.
Energy • Event Debate.Energy Conference: Best of Jochen Brenner • 15 min.
Energy • Society “Corona is accelerating developments that we didn’t expect for several years” Hannah Meisters • 4 min.
Energy • Innovation “As green as hydrogen can get” Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 6 min.
Energy • Climate #Anthropause: is corona climate-friendly? Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 7 min.
Energy • Climate • Politics • Economy Gas is the ideal enabler of a successful energy transition Andreas Schierenbeck, Vorstandsvorsitzender Uniper SE • 4 min.
Joe Biden
Energy • Society • Climate • Politics Biden's climate plan: jobs, workers, unions. Oh, and clean energy too. Dariush Jones • 6 min.
Energy • Innovation • Economy A different incentive for energy efficiency Thomas Schmidt • 7 min.
Donald Trump
Energy • Society • Politics • Climate Donald Trump's climate policy: “A golden age of energy dominance” Dariush Jones • 7 min.
Bremst der Coronavirus die Energiewende aus?
Energy • Climate • Society Opportunity or obstacle? What corona means for the energy transition Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 9 min.
Wasserstoff: Energieträger der Zukunft
Energy • Climate • Opinions Hydrogen: Jules Verne’s vision brought to life Andreas Schierenbeck, Vorstandsvorsitzender Uniper SE • 8 min.
Energy • Innovation Nuclear fusion: elation or illusion? Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 5 min.
Energy • Economy • Science Fuel cells for passenger cars: hope or hype? Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 8 min.
Energy • Climate Avast those emissions! Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 8 min.
Power-to-Gas-Anlagen
Energy • Economy A solution for Germany’s green power glut Thomas Schmidt • 6 min.
Energy • Society • Climate Corona promotes energy conservation Thomas Schmidt • 6 min.
©iStock
Society • Energy • Climate Is climate protection socially just? Thomas Schmidt • 8 min.
©DiyanaDimitrova/Istock
Energy • Economy • Politics Here comes the sun (again) Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 7 min.
„Garden Rhapsody“: Die Super Trees in Singapur 
©Gardens by the Bay
Innovation • Climate • Energy Quirky green innovations: futuristic super trees and playgrounds at intersections Clara Müller • 6 min.
Warum verbrauchen wir nicht weniger Energie und nutzen grüneren Strom?
Energy • Society The residential consumption conundrum Charlotte Meyer • 5 min.
Um das Platzproblem zu lösen, schickt man die Solarpanele aufs Wasser
©Tomwang112/istock
Energy • Innovation Swimming solar farms: the potential of “floatovoltaics” Clara Müller • 4 min.
Ist der Diesel etwa doch gar nicht so schlecht?
Energy • Climate • Economy Diesel cars are better than their reputation, yet still have no future in Germany Hans-Joachim Ziegler • 7 min.
Follow us on Social Media
Follow us
on Social Media

Your Internet connection is too slow, the page might be displayed delayed.