Tag Archives: City Tree

The premature death of a City Tree

The City Tree installed at Hopewell Center always seemed a half hearted attempt. It was more PR pomp and bluster than a genuine statement of green energy, roadside air pollution or the creation of a sitting area with the feeling of sitting under a real tree in a park. 

It didn’t come as a huge surprise to me then, that last week some guys dismantled it very quietly and without much fuss. In its place, they’ve erected a shelter in which they seem to be doing some tile work. Could they be building a bigger one? It’s all a bit unclear what direction this is heading in and whether the sponsors will keep backing a project that doesn’t work. 

I think if the sponsors are serious about it, pay to build a proper one that will handle the roadside air pollution and please pay the maintenance subscription fees. It looks like the City Tree is higher maintenance than a real tree… but then again it’s supppsed to represent 20-30 trees in a park so maybe the maintenance costs should be equal to that. No shortcuts. 

If you’d like to see some history on the city tree, check out these posts from when it was ALIVE

The City Tree is finally getting maintenance 

The City Tree outside Hopewell Center is finally getting fixed.. under a real tree 🙂

The City Tree is getting fixed under a real tree

Unfortunately the aesthetics of the City Tree are far from that of a real tree. 

It’s cubby-hole plants have been swapped out and it’s undergoing some intense watering.

City Tree PSI pollution monitor still not working 

Hmm. It’s been a blank screen for two weeks now. Anyone gonna fix it?


I went to their website Green City Solutions and saw their marvellously simple concept and site. There was a box labelled Aircare that invited me to click to see how clean the air is around a City Tree.

The default map is Paris….So I type in Wan Chai to see if the readings are being captured centrally despite our screen here not displaying any information whatsoever. This is what I got:

Hmm. I don’t think you need to know any German to understand that the City Tree in that “location has been disabled”.

The question is why??

Is Wanchai’s City Tree dead? (With update below)

The Wanchai City Tree project has been a disappointment to me so far. After I saw the launch by its Founder and team (flanked by lots of dudes in suits) with lots of snazzy photo taking and media buzz, the City Tree has been mostly ignored since. More ominously a black netting has been wrapped around the tree… it’s a bit unclear if this was to prevent the recent typhoon(s) from ripping out all the plants or whether the plants aren’t quite acclimating well to the environs.

I see the following issues:

1) not very aesthetically pleasing

2) rather exposed seating area

3) no way to know whether it’s working (the screen has been blank for a while now)

Individual plantlets on the City Tree

What the City Tree needs is a big display above the awning indicating what the second to second PSI is, flicking to what the PSI variations are during the day and night. That way, all passersby will be able to see what the traffic contributes during rush hour, how particles decrease after a good thunderstorm or on a public holiday. 

Come on Herr Denes Honus and teamyou can do better than that. If you’re struggling with the PSI indicator, please collaborate with Dyson. My Dyson Fan Air Quality Indicator works very well.

Will Wan Chai be filled with City Trees? Replacing any trees that fall during typhoon season with City Trees would be a welcome start though the effect on the landscape isn’t quite the same. See the article below on possible intents…

Vertical gardens that ‘eat’ air pollution and how Hong Kong could use them 

Quick update: the black netting has now been removed. The coverage of plants seem to be a little more extensive but the computer display was definitely not working right.

City Tree Netting is off today


But computer is faulty

Wan Chai’s City Tree installed outside Hopewell Center

The first City Tree has been installed in Wanchai. Hooray! BUT, it’s very small. Much, much smaller than I expected. 

I can’t imagine it truly doing much more than a real tree planted in its place would do. 

It consists of 4 panels on each side, each about 5 feet high and roughly the same in width. The design incorporates two small benches on either side. 

I was expecting something much more space age in design, grander, more impressive. Well, initial space limitations and other practical considerations probably get in the way. 

We saw them installing this last week and until today’s the “green” part of the tree is still covered in a green netting. 

The Tesla showroom also opened this week, it’s no coincidence that a more environmentally friendly tack is being taken in the area. The queues to enter the Tesla showroom are very encouraging, everyone wants to see the chassis and sit in the most modern vehicle presently on the planet. 

First City Tree in Hong Kong will be installed in Wan Chai

Could Wan Chai be the urban district in Hong Kong with the cleanest air?

In exciting news today, the government has announced that the City Tree project is underway, the first of which will be installed outside Hopewell Center.

Roadside traffic pollution is particularly bad, those enviro 500 buses often spew out large amounts of exhaust, everyone waiting for buses are victims inhaling high levels of PMI 2.5.

I saw the sign for a city tree on Lee Tung Avenue while it was under construction. It was situated outside the present restaurant called Hay, right beside the upcoming Tesla Showroom in QRE. With these ideas and new tenants, perhaps we’ll see much more energy efficient installations in Wan Chai. Presently, a planter stands where the City Tree signage was.

This next picture indicates what it does.

Well, it would be good to have an area of clean air in Wan Chai, although there is no mention of when. There is massive construction beside Hopewell Center and I have a sneaky suspicion it’s not going to get installed until the construction is done (i.e. in another few years).