Amazing New Algae Overpass in Switzerland Eats Highway Smog

It is a beautiful thing to see great minds all over the world coming together to improve our environment, and as a result, the lives of the people living in that environment. A new project recently installed in Switzerland signifies a new and exciting take on cleaner air: an algae farm on a highway overpass.

The overpass was installed this past summer in Geneva, by the The Cloud Collective, a cooperative organization which brings together experts to develop environmental solutions. The Cloud Collective’s website states:

“We are a co-operation of architects, creative minds and designers committed to transform today’s surroundings into those of tomorrow. Because co-operation is at our core, we collaborate open-minded: in varying teams, with external experts and with our clients. All our projects — research and design — result from the assembly of experts and expertise, of craft and craftsmanship.”

The benefit of the highway overpass – and it’s a big one – is that the algae takes in carbon dioxide from auto emissions, and along with sunlight, uses them to manufacture oxygen. The new overpass in Geneva has concrete siding, with a network of transparent tubes attached. The algae grows within the tubes, where it is maintained by filters, solar panels and pumps. The overpass also doubles as a bike path and walkway.

swissAccording to The Cloud Collective, “Our site, a viaduct over a small highway, is particularly violent and quite out-of-tune with the idea of the garden as a peaceful natural haven. Instead, we focus on the character of the site and try to prove that even these locations of highways and car dealers – despite their anonymous and generic character – can play an important role in the production of food and biomass.”

Indeed, as the algae grows, the resulting plant matter can be used in cosmetics and other products. As far as air filtration, it’s quite incredible. If every highway had an overpass such as this, we may start to see significantly less carbon dioxide trickling up to the ozone layer.

Kudos to Switzerland – we’re keeping our eyes peeled for news on this and similar initiatives!

-The Alternative Daily


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