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Smog-Free Tower & Daan Roosegaarde — From Illumination To Purification

“It is really weird that we accept it as something normal,” Daan Roosegaarde says as he holds up what looks like a plastic bag of black coal dirt. It is smog, smog pulled out of the air in Beijing. The first Smog-Free Tower, a smog-cleaning tower designed by Studio Roosegaarde, is due to open September 2015 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


Studio Roosegaarde, the innovator of the Smog-Free Tower, is also the brainchild of such illuminating things as the Van Gogh–Inspired Iridescent Starry Bicycle Path. Environmentally motivated, is also considered, what is more appealing than pure air and clear water?

Roosegaarde and his company wish to increase participation in the natural world for city dwellers — however, without the ever-present smog of modern times. Similar to an air purifier in a hospital, except much larger, the Smog-Free Tower clears an area of a city so that city dwellers will experience the difference. One will breathe well,  breathing fresh, pure air. Thus, they will likely comprehend that the status quo of smog needs to go.

“We humans have created machines to enhance ourselves, we invented the wheel and cars to liberate ourselves and travel. But now these machines are striking back, making air extremely polluted in high-density cities. In some cities, this pollution is visible. In others, air pollutants and smog may be invisible, but the impact on our daily lives and health is very real. We believe we should do more, not less, and make modern cities livable again.”

The bag mentioned at the beginning holds what comes into our lungs, gets on our skin, gets in our clothes. We may get used to it, but we are not immune to it physically. Perhaps envisioning the contents of the bag in one’s lungs and visiting the smog-free zone will offer the chance to wake more. The smog-free zone will make tangible the gravity of the circumstance the planet suffers due to air pollutants, toxic particulates. And free of that smog for a time, of those lingering smog coughs and headaches, one might not be too fatigued to act.

With an improved understanding of what is possible with a lighter footprint, urbanites may more actively work to mitigate toxic overloads. Increased carsharing, bikesharing, electric vehicles, bicycle paths, and pedestrian wanderings will make more sense. Visiting the smog-free zone, it will become a corporeal concept and exchange.

Thus, the Smog-Free Tower, the largest air purifier in the world, creates smog-free air zones in the most polluted d94d00262d9958f64be60f3be51650dd_originalcities around the world. On Kickstarter, it merges high-tech science, design, and imagination — and a common purpose prevails.

Smog Free Tower Scale Model

The Smog-Free space will bring folks to not only enjoy, but also to collaborate to rid our cities of air pollution. The Smog-Free Tower is the first step of the Smog-Free Movement:

“Let’s kick-start the Smog-Free Movement and build the Smog-Free Tower together! This campaign is to fund the first pilot of the Tower in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The tower will travel around the world, from city to city. From Beijing to Paris. From Los Angeles to Mexico City.”

The intent is also to produce cubes from the smog. “In areas affected by severe air pollution, the Smog-Free Tower will harvest enough smog to produce over 3500 Smog-Free Cubes per day.” Smog Free Cubes


Smog-Free Project Story Sheet

Smog-Free Fact Sheet


While noting how worthwhile a Smog Free-Tower is for all of us, don’t forget indoor air as well. If you have the sniffles, sinus congestion, itchy skin or eyes year round, check out: “How To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality [Infographic].” Sustainablog writes, “the air inside your home is likely 2–5 times more polluted than what you breathe outside. So, if you associate air pollution with smoke stacks, you may want to think more about your fireplace, shower water, mold, and dust mites.”

CleanTechnica reported a while back on another idea concerning smog: “Students Invent Smog-Eating House — For Only $5!.” The post mentions a valuable method that the students arrived at for calculating the amount of nitrogen oxides that can be removed.

Related Stories:

Paris Smog Can Take Cars Off The Streets 

The Netherlands Begins Testing Glow-In-The-Dark Highways

Van Gogh–Inspired Iridescent Starry Bicycle Path Begins Year Of Van Gogh Events

Smart Highway that Charges Your Car (+ Much More)

Bag of smog image by ©Reinier RVDA via Kickstarter; scale model of a Smog-Free Tower via Kickstarter; Smog-Free Ring via Kickstarter

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Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits.


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