About the Post

Author Information

The Clean Air Partnership is a registered charity, founded in 2000. Our mission is to work with partners to achieve clean air, facilitate the exchange of ideas, advance change and promote and coordinate implementation of actions that improve local air quality.

Looking Forward: Technology and the Environment

With the month of May coming to an end in less than a week, Earth Day Canada’s campaign to change Earth Day 2014 to Earth May 2014 comes to an end. This year, here at CAP, we highlighted some of the best Earth Day events happening around the GTHA, we’ve also highlighted how residents can participate in Earth Hour (though this event is in March), and we’ve celebrated the importance of women and their impacts on the environment. In celebration and support of Earth May 2014, we decided to end this year’s Earth Day celebrations by looking ahead. More specifically, by looking at how our advances in science and technology are helping us against our fight against climate change and global warming. Below, you’ll find how green technology is becoming more prevalent in our fight against climate change.

Looking first at urban sustainability, architect and designer Stefano Boeri is changing Milan’s urban landscape. Almost nearing it’s completion, Stefano has introduced to the city’s landscape two twin towers that will host “1000 trees, 5000 shrubs, and over 10 000 additional plants.” Both buildings were designed with green sustainability in mind and their design speaks volumes regarding how Milan is attempting to combat urban air quality issues in a creative and aesthetic way. Each building is built with accommodations for “irrigation, root systems, plant weights, and wind loads” which creates a rich “miniature ecosystem” that helps filter the air within and surrounding the buildings, dampens the urban noise, and provides shade for residents. Each permaculture that surroundings the buildings were selected for the appropriate regional climate and most optimal light and wind exposure, ensuring that the buildings are as effective sustainably as their are beautiful. Lastly, the buildings also “increases biodiversity and provides habitats for regional birds and insects.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Moving to new ecological designs, the University of Peru, much like the eco buildings in Milan, is showing that environmentally minded designs can be aesthetically pleasing as they are beneficial to the natural environment. Their mission to tackle environmental issues, such as air pollution and water management, have led them to create billboards that tackle water management issues and air pollution (though independent of each other). Their “drinkable billboards” came from the desire to create drinkable water in arid and desert like environments, which while providing ad agency space to create ad awareness, also produces 25 gallons (96 litres) of water a day. Since the three months that the billboard has been installed, it has provided a local community 9450 litres of clean drinking water. After this successful design, the University of Peru have shifted their focus to creating “purifying air” billboards, which can possibly purify 100 000 cubic metres of air every day. It also substitutes polluted air with fresh air. The technology developed by the University of Peru has many transferrable features, especially in regions that lack systemic clean drinking water and/or carry a heavy air pollution issue. In fact, locally speaking, the air billboard could be beneficial to the City of Toronto, especially on the Gardiner as it can help purify the air pollution that occurs from the vehicular traffic in that vicinity.


Looking forward, one can only anticipate the future with hope and child-like optimism. These two eco-designs just shows how we are adopting environmental issues into how we transform and define our built environments. Earth Day 2014 has been a great success and one can only be optimal looking forward to the theme and message Earth Day 2015 has to bring and how another year will also bring newer environmental technology.

Tags: , , , , , , ,


  1. CAP: 100 Posts Later | Clean Air Partnership - June 19, 2014

    […] Looking Forward: Technology and the Environment […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: