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Designers debut ‘urban algae canopy’ that produces oxygen, energy, and shade

Literally green technology!


Cynthia McKelvey

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 8, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 3:37 pm CDT

Environmentalist urban design company, ecoLogicStudio, unveiled the prototype for a new “algae canopy” last week in Milan. The canopy houses living algae, which photosynthesize in direct sunlight and grow, creating shade. They also produce oxygen and energy. But best of all, the canopies are beautiful. Here’s the album from Imgur:

The design is part of EXPO2015 Future Food District, a project showcasing possible new directions for food sustainability, and how people play a role in the food chain. The expo is part of a long tradition of World Fairs, where entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists come together to showcase prototypes of future technologies. According to the ecoLogicStudio’s website, its entry of the Urban Algae Canopy will produce as much oxygen as four hectares (about 2.5 acres) of woodland. The expo will run from May 1 to Oct. 31.

Algae are critically important to maintaining the Earth’s atmosphere and breathable air. The microscopic organisms produce between 70 and 80 percent of the Earth’s oxygen. Some enterprising environmentalists are also using algae to scrub excess carbon dioxide from the air, which the algae convert into food during photosynthesis.

Hopefully the Urban Algae Canopy will be more than just a prototype, and we’ll start seeing things like it around buildings in major cities everywhere soon.

Screengrab via EndgameArchitecture/imgur

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*First Published: Jun 8, 2015, 6:36 pm CDT