1 What is a CityTree?

An interactive platform to play with and learn about the meaning of sustainability.

The CityTrees challenge: turning less into more. Develop technological art installations that harvest limited green energy from the environment and provide a meaningful interactive experience about sustainability.

A CityTree is a public interactive art installation that conveys a unique educational message about the exploration for new ideas related to sustainability. The installation provides a public exposition space for video, sound and interaction artists as well as for committed community members that want to promote green innovation. It supports a global effort to activate the general public to address the environmental challenges we face. From an artistic point of view the installation relates to the concept of a tree and to a global trend known as community art in which a creative dialogue between city residents is promoted using a variety of art forms. A CityTree pilot installation has been designed in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

World CityTrees 2012
Environment - Art - Technology - Education

2 Educational Challenge

One of the core ideas of the CityTrees initiative is to involve and challenge art and engineering students to co-design new installations and integrate them into educational models for schools and the general public. From a technological perspective each installation needs to satisfy two important conditions.

(I) The energy required to power the installation needs to be harvested from limited surrounding renewable energy resources.

(II) The installation should incorporate interactive components and become connect to the internet.

The technological challenge relates to harvesting, storing and utilizing green energy in efficient ways and to the development of state of the art interaction models, e.g. by incorporating audiovisual components into the installation. Challenging students to co-design these installations promotes the creative and social use of technology within the "green" context.

3 Long Term Vision

Too often the labels “sustainable” and “green” are used as a marketing vehicle to sell more. In order to engage the public with green innovation we require appealing and authentic reference models. The CityTrees model helps to address the meaning of the words sustainable and green in a playful and yet challenging way. The artistic side of the project intends to inspire people, while the engineering part intends to demonstrate smart and technical realistic green use cases. The long term goal is to inspire teams of artists and engineers to co-develop installations in their cities and countries and interconnect them and their communities via the internet. This eventually could support a network of connected green sites (place making) around the world which embed a meaningful educational message about sustainability and the environment.

4 About Us

The CityTrees initiative started after a pilot project (known as Pollinating Ideas) was accomplished in the Netherlands to channel human energy and ideas in support of the environment. A rechargeable baton (running rod) was distributed to runners allowing electrical energy to be accumulated during their daily exercise and subsequently to be transferred in order to power a public light emitting art installation. In addition, the participants where invited to forward ideas about green innovation in the city. The assumption was that runners produce kinetic energy that can be harvested in a creative way and that running also stimulates creative thinking, another type of energy that could be channeled in support of green ideas.

We are a group of entrepreneurs from the Netherlands and Israel who are passionate about blending art and technology in order to inspire people in support of new meaningful initiatives in the field of sustainability. We have professional experience in engineering, research and development (R&D), art and innovation.

Jechiam Gural
Elwin Nuyts
Ami Ikan

City Trees was also supported by Evy Psychologen Praktij Amsterdam

5 Video Impression

Click on the video below to watch a 4 minutes impression about CityTrees.

6 Art & Science

Both artists and scientists are intensively occupied in imagining something that is not yet known. Interaction between artists and scientists may pave the way for novel ideas that will inspire and activate people to understand how we can move towards a more sustainable future. We also aim to materialize the notion that limited renewable energy resources (less is more) in fact provide us with an opportunity to boost up creativity in favor of innovation.

Examples of - micropower - energy harvesting methods, as well as references to related art projects are listed below:

Interactive Art article  
Wind art: the wind beast video  
Human energy harvesting video  
Nano generator video  
Sound turns into micropower video  
Non turbine and cheap wind energy video  
Kinetic energy in soccer article  
Fibonacci & solar panels video  
Pollinating ideas, rechargeable baton article  
Green computing article  

7 Contact Us

Contact us to learn more and help us explore new ways for green innovation.

E-mail: info@worldcitytrees.org
Tel. NL: +31-6-10577833
Tel. IL: +972-54-6955116
Tel. IL +972-52-3278785