A Smog-Fighting Billboard For Los Angeles?

Vermont may have helped to protect the aesthetics of its natural landscapes through its state-wide billboard ban. But in Los Angeles — and possibly cities all over the world — billboards may actually become part of the natural landscape, and help to improve urban air quality as well.

The Architect’s Newspaper reports that a group of architects and engineers called Urban Air has developed a technique for transforming existing urban billboards to living, suspended bamboo gardens. Embedded with intelligent technology — i.e., sensors and water misters that ensure the plants are properly hydrated, should rain prove scarce — the UrbanAir billboard creates an open space in the urban skyline, and a place set aside for nature, even in heavily developed areas.

UrbanAir billboard

image via The Architect’s Newspaper

The billboard becomes both a work of art and a symbol of the integration of the natural and built environment  — as well as, of course, a practical tool for scrubbing dirty urban air.

While the collective’s ambitions are global in scope, they aim to start with a billboard adjacent to LA’s 10 Freeway. That project is seeking crowdfunding via Kickstarter, giving Los Angelenos tired of both billboards and smog (as well as interested parties all over the world) the unique opportunity to fight the latter using the former.

As of Nov. 21, the group had raised around $34,of its $100,000 goal, with 20 days left in its campaign. You can check out the details and contribute to the cause online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

    • http://www.yamanoor.com/ Yamanoor Srihari

      For lasting effect, I would say, use “native” species.