Torino Gets a Breath of Fresh Air
Gioco Solutions and U-Earth Partner to Improve Air Quality in Italy
Over two hundred years have passed since the birth of the industrial city, embodied by the image of nineteenth-century London with thick, gray and dirty air. In Italy, Torino is plighted by the the most polluted air of the peninsula. At its peak of emissions in the 20th century, a gray veil of smog hung over the city, motionless in the sky because of the surrounding mountains. But it is from here, from urban places that have suffered the highest levels of pollution, that a new vision for cities was born.
With project Pure Air Zone, Torino is experiencing a glimpse of this new vision: intelligent transportation, innovative city planning and, most importantly, clean air.
A Turin-based company, U-Earth, has created a patented biological air purification system able to capture contaminants and turn them into substances harmless for humans and the environment. The system reproduces the process that nature uses to remove contaminants from the environment, but has an unnaturally fast equilibration time. The technology creates a "clean air bubble" that extends for 400 square meters around each purifier. Further, this amazing system is powered by the renewable energy of solar panels.
The Torino Living Lab project chose Gioco Solutions' policrystalline solar panels because they are not only lightweight and flexible, but also provide 220 watts of power. The trial began last month, with the first clean air area of the city created in the Russo gardens of Corso Svizzera. It will function like a laboratory in the middle of the city streets, analyzing the contents of the air continuously. It will also record and analyze peak levels of contaminants and detect night-time pollution levels.
The changes currently happening in cities are just as profound as those of the industrial revolution. However, rather than creating an ugly and unhealthy cities, these innovations are beckoning in positive improvements to urban life. The city of Torino and those at U-Earth and Gioco Solutions are confident that biotechnologies will help create sustainable and clean cities.