In Dalian, China, a Smog Free Tower designed to reduce pollution in public spaces is being planned by city officials. The urban innovation will be installed on a city-wide scale in public spaces in order to encourage children to play outside. The tower uses ozone-free technology that can efficiently capture smog particles in the air, providing parks with cleaner air than the rest of the city.
In some U.S. cities, efforts to increase access to green spaces are leading to undesired higher taxes and more expensive housing in some cases. One example is Chicago’s 606 elevated-rail trail which has seen property values increase nearly 48% since 2013. Such new green areas can lead to gentrification that inadvertently displaces low-income populations intended to benefit from the green areas. However, city leaders with experience in such projects stress that effective cross-sector collaboration can help avoid such consequences.