TreeWiFi: Free Wi-Fi for green cities
Many Spanish cities suffer high levels of pollution regularly, being one of the most dangerous and typical problems a density of nitrogen dioxide in the air that exceed the level considered as tolerable by local authorities (200 mg per m3 in most cities). In fact, last week Madrid considered the need of establish a restriction in the use of cars due this problem. Finally, the limitation was not applied, but it represents one more example of the importance to keep in mind the relevance of find a solution to the pollution in big cities.
Barcelona takes measures from time to time because of the regular increase in pollution levels, limiting the top speed limit in highways and city centre or even establishing a reduction of the production of factories. The problem still alive in many province capitals around the country (as well as around major European cities).
A creative idea as arisen recently to encourage to reduce the levels of pollution, which probably is not a definitive solution but can represent a relevant small action in the right direction. This project is called TreeWiFi and has been founded by Joris Lam.
The concept is quite simple and has already started to be implemented in Amsterdam. It is based in the idea of offer free Wi-Fi to those city districts that keeps a low level of pollution. The way to control and offer this free service is visualised by house-birds installed in the trees around the city. A line of LED lights in the device will show which is the status in every given moment: on the one hand, green lights will announce a proper level of pollution and the availability of the free Wi-Fi signal. On the other hand, red color means that area of the city is exceeding the due level of pollution, so no Wi-Fi service is offered.
This rewarding system represents not only a way to encourage a progressive improvement in terms of pollution, but it is also a way to visualise the problem. The effects of pollution are suffered by millions of citizens every year in many cities around the world, however not always we are able to detect and identify the this issue in our daily life.
Maybe one day we could see these house-birds in Spanish cities. Small actions can make the difference; environment improvements and sustainability can be supported by actions like this.