All over the world, cities are grappling with the increasingly detrimental effects of climate change. For cities, urban air pollution and urban heat island effect are the most present and acute issues challenging urban populations.
Compared to many international cities, New York City has been making positive progress in addressing air quality and urban heat issues through strategies developed and implemented over the past decade. Still, there are more improvements to be made – and the challenges facing New York City will only increase in scope.
Through the Open Innovation Challenge, the City of New York is looking for new and innovative ideas, technologies and approaches to reducing the negative impacts of urban air pollution and the heat island effect. The ultimate goal of the challenge is to identify and pilot the most promising solution within the City in the hopes that it can improve upon the current state og air quality and/or urban heat vulnerability.
Fine dust reduction system for the tunnel environment (StaticAir, NL)
StaticAir proposes to apply their Fine Dust Reduction System (FDRS) inside the tunnel environment. The FDRS cleans tunnel air which will lead to a significant cleaner air in the urban environment. The FDRS is a modular system and a scalable solution which can be installed on the wall or ceiling of new and existing traffic, rail, and metro tunnels.
Airlite technological paint (Airlite, AM Technology, UK)
Airlite is a technological paint which reduces urban heat and air pollution. By painting the exterior of builidings, Airlite can reduce the energy consumption of air conditioners thus lowering their CO2 emissions. In tests, the electricity used for aircon units was reduced by 28.66%. Activated by light, Airlite reduces major air pollutants like NOx by up to 88.8% in closed environments and up to 50% in outdoors environments.
The Polder Roof Technology: Smart Rainwater Capture for Building Cooling (MetroPolder, NL)
The Polder Roof is designed to maximize water holding capacity of rooftop gardens, solar parks, and terraces, to cool down the city through evapotranspiration of captured rainwater. The Polder Roof leverages the resiliency benefits of stored water to maximize cooling, eliminate stormwater runoff, and provide passive irrigation of biodiverse roofscapes. The Polder Roof is monitored and controlled by an activated wier containing sensors connected to the internet
Improve the energy efficiency of building hydronic systems by 20% with the use of Pressure Independent Control Valves (Danfoss, DK)
The proposed solution is for Pressure Independent Control Valves to be used in existing and new commercial buildings where a hydronic (water based) heating and/or cooling system is used. By replacing old valve technologies with this new solution, it is expected as much as 50% of the energy used to heat or cool a building can be saved.
NOVENCO ZerAx® energy efficient fan solution (Novenco, DK)
The NOVENCO ZerAx® axial flow fans provide efficient ventilation and cools perfectly, as they are true to next generation energy-savers with efficiencies up to 92%, low noise levels and product lifetimes of 20+years. Conceived to increase efficiency of HVAC systems, the ZerAx® fans radically reduces use of energy in new build AHUs, in existing AHU systems, and in any other ventilation applications.
Leaf Island Effect is an ecological design, installation and stewardship approach targeting both the urban heat island effect and air pollution for being applied in urban landscapes. Two concepts are essential: 1) only multilayered plants, supplied with sufficient water are capable of reducing the urban body temperature effectively; a healthy volume area of well-developed plants effectively reduces air pollution, a 2) the City offers immense surface area on roofs, blank vertical walls, and public/streets-side real estate. We combine these two concepts to solve the challenge of urban heat and air quality.
AC/DC – Adaption Calculator for Digital Cities (Ramboll, DK)
Many cities are systematically implementing Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI) to handle stormwater and prevent flooding, and it is documented that BGI also can reduce urban heat and improve air quality. Ramboll has developed the Adaption Calculator for Digital Cities, AC/DC. The AC/DC is a systemized approach to apply BGI for urban heat and air quality improvements at a wider scale. The purpose is to translate physical values (temperature etc.) to socio-economic impact. It presents both direct benefits (e.g. reduced temperature) and co-benefits (e.g. reduced heat strokes) spatially to facilitate prioritization of, and to build a business case for, BGI in relation to urban heat and air quality, as well as to support climate investments and implementation.
City Shield is a unifying conceptual framework for a collection of design solutions to shade multiple urban heat island (UHI) conditions. The concept envisions a new approach to urban, landscape, and architectural design for dedicated protective layers or second skins to shade solid surfaces, and to provide additional benefits. City Shield suggests a new paradigm to expose possibilities and redefine aesthetic expectations as we confront global heating. Solutions range in scale from large urban interventions to discrete building scale components.
On August 26 2019, the finalists were announced. Below you will find a presentation of the solutions, which the finalists will be presenting at the pitch final event in New York City on September 24, 2019.