Tim de Graag | Architect | A city covered in smog
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A city covered in smog




This month the World Health Organization (WHO) measured the highest pollution levels of fine particulate matter above China ever recorded. Thick clouds of toxic smog cover the cities in North east China. The big need for energy in fast growing cities seems to be an essential problem and tend to influence the lives and health of many citizens. Last year I visited Shanghai, one of the big Chinese cities which suffers from smog.

 As long as I was there I did not see white clouds, the sun or a blue sky. The visibility in the city could drop to under 100 meters, and the big prominent skyline of the city was hidden behind grey clouds of smog.  I wondered how the lack of color and light influences the human mind and how architects can help improving air quality and secondary factors like light and well-being. This week a Dutch design studio reveiled a “smog-free tower” which I wanted to share with you. The tower should improve the air-quality in Rotterdam. It is a promising and interesting yet small concept, but it might be a step in the right direction as long as local governments are not able to reduce pollution.