• Hopewell, JOS and Microsoft lead the charge in alleviating HK air pollution

    25 July 2016

    (21 July 2016, Hong Kong) Hopewell Real Estate Agency Limited, JOS and Microsoft Hong Kong have installed Asia’s first CityTree located outside Hopewell Centre in Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Working together, the companies are showing the way with smart and sustainable urban solutions. The patented high-tech green installation will benefit the Hong Kong community with reduced roadside pollution and heightened environmental awareness.

    Photo 2From left: Mr Dénes Honus (Green City Solutions’ co-founder and CEO), Mr Bruce Leung (Director of Hopewell Asset Management Limited), Mr Eric van der Hoeven (Chief Executive of JTH Group) and Mr Horace Chow (General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong) jointly debut Asia’s first CityTree installed outside Hopewell Centre.

     

    The debut of CityTree in Asia comes as a result of JOS’s partnership with Hopewell Real Estate Agency, Green City Solutions, the German-based company who created this smart air purifying solution and participated in the Infiniti Accelerator program in 2015, and Microsoft Hong Kong.JOS installed and integrated CityTree usingMicrosoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT) Suite.

    Standing three metres high, the CityTree unit is a pioneering air-purification system combining Internet of Things and biotechnology first installed in Asia. The unit’s special moss culture and vascular plants absorb and filter fine dust, nitrogen oxides and other air pollutants to alleviate surrounding air pollution.

    Photo 4With the aim of helping Hong Kong alleviate air pollution, CityTree will capture environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity and particulate matter to keep the public informed of the latest pollution levels in the immediate surrounding area. Utilising Microsoft’s Azure Internet of Things (IoT) Suite, data collected by the sensors will be transmitted securely and telemetrically to the Azure IoT Hub. The data will then be recorded, processed and analysed by the Azure IoT Suite for air pollution reduction research purposes.

    JOS deployed the total concept end to end – from managing the manufacturing, to internal construction design, structural safety designed by Jardine Engineering Corporation and software design and development – integrating various IoT modules and sensors which provide feedback to the moss.

    The “German-design, made-in-Hong-Kong” CityTree was built with solar panels and digital systems that reduce the need for regular maintenance. Inside the unit are a number of sensors that enable CityTree to monitor the moisture levels of its purifying moss and report on air quality in real time. Similar units have already been installed in numerous European cities, including Paris, Berlin, Munich, Dresden and Oslo, and they have been positively received.

    Photo 6JOS Group Managing Director, Mr Mark Lunt praised the pioneering installation and partnership, saying: “We are excited to join forces with Hopewell, Infiniti and Microsoft to deploy Hong Kong’s first CityTree by Green City Solutions. This cutting-edge installation is a testament to Hopewell’s green vision and the power of IoT technology by Microsoft, and JOS is proud to be bringing emerging technology to benefit people across Asia. CityTree is an excellent example of how the Internet of Things is supporting creative innovation to improve our urban spaces. Our goal is to help organisations develop a clear vision for the practical use of, and the benefits to be gained from, the Internet of Things.”

    Outdoor air pollution contributes to 3.3 million premature deaths every year[1], and the World Health Organisation estimates that figure could reach 6.6 million by 2050[2]. Although air pollution is getting worse[3], the Internet of Things is opening up new opportunities for scientists and city leaders to understand where air pollution comes from, how it disperses and how to reduce its adverse impact on human health. JOS, a trusted partner to Asia’s businesses and governments, has strengthened its IoT investments and capabilities – embarking on new partnerships with innovators like Green City Solutions in order to show organisations how to uncover intelligence through connected sensors, to the benefit of people and cities.

    Photo 3Director of Hopewell Asset Management Limited, Mr Bruce Leung added: “We are proud to introduce Asia’s very first CityTree at Hopewell Centre in Hong Kong. Environmental protection and green thinking should drive every part of life – from technology, to architecture, to engineering, to visual arts. CityTree perfectly embodies this sort of harmonious project that’s good for people, cities and the environment. As a committed corporate citizen, Hopewell believes in sustainable development. We apply eco-friendly design in our developments, incorporate green building features into our properties, and encourage green office practices and property management. With CityTree and the IoT expertise of JOS, we look forward to further enhancing the environment of Wan Chai and driving a better quality of life for urban communities in Hong Kong.”

    Green City Solutions’ co-founder and CEO Mr Dénes Honus said: “Thanks for the full support of Hopewell and we are delighted to partner with JOS on the first CityTree in Hong Kong. With JOS’s IoT capabilities, CityTree can do its job with very little maintenance and we can continue to collect essential data on air pollution and develop effective strategies to fight it. The launch of Asia’s first smart plant filter for Infiniti and Hopewell Centre follows our participation in the Infiniti Accelerator. These projects have taken our company to the next level, and working with JOS has enabled us to gain more exposure to the Asian market.”

    General Manager of Microsoft Hong Kong, Mr Horace Chow said: “Microsoft CityNext is our global initiative that empowers cities to be more sustainable and economically competitive. Microsoft Hong Kong is proud to be part of the CityTree project that aims to provide the people of Hong Kong with a cleaner and greener environment. CityTree is a remarkable project. It not only cleans the air around us, but it is also an IoT (Internet of Things) project to collect important environmental data for analytics and pollution reduction research purposes. By taking advantage of our cloud-based services built on the flexible and scalable Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform, CityTree demonstrates how innovative technology can improve our urban environment and help citizens lead safer and healthier lives.”

    With more than half a century at the forefront of Asia’s dynamic technology sector, JOS is well-versed in using the best available technology to get to the heart of a challenge and solve complex problems. JOS offers a broad selection of enterprise technology from market-leading vendors, underpinned by service and consultancy, to deliver a tailored solution to every customer. Although the technology behind the Internet of Things is now in place, many organisations have yet to take their first steps in uncovering how IoT can deliver competitive advantage. JOS can show an organisation how to develop a clear vision for the practical use of the Internet of Things and what benefits can be gained.

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