Internet of Trees – When You Give a Tree an Email Address

Screenshot 2017-09-29 21.24.50

Sustainability Problem: Public Safety and Comfort, Civic Engagement, City Maintenance 

Urban forest has been identified as one of the most cost efficient and effective strategies for mitigating the urban heat island effect and adapting to climate change. However, maintaining good tree canopy cover can be expensive and dangerous tree branches sometimes present public safety concerns.

Sustainable Technology: Assign trees with ID numbers and email addresses

  • Ranked by the EIU as the world’s most liveable city for seven years in a row since 2011, Melbourne suffers from extreme weather conditions like strong heat and flashfloods. Urban forest can help to reduce urban head island effect and improve stormwater retention.
  • To help to improve the city’s canopy cover, every tree in the city is catalogued with an individual ID email address, and can be seen in an open dataset with details such as life expectancy.
  • Citizen can also report problems like dangerous branches by the email-a-tree service. People ended up doing more than just reporting problems, but sending messages such as greetings and love letters to the trees via the emails.
  • “Internet of Trees” not only helps with city maintenance, but also encourages civic engagement.

Organizational Stakeholders that Will Use the Technology

  • City officials who oversee maintaining and improving the city’s tree population
  • City officials who oversee public engagement and safety
  • Citizens

First 3 Steps in Deploying the Technology

  1. Identify large metropolitans that lacks tree cover and can benefit from it, such as New York and Beijing. Work with city officials to get approval and funding for the project.
  2. Conduct pilots in selected parts of the city: tag trees and educate public about the new service.
  3. Roll out the project to rest of the city; build a database and map of the trees, and share them with the public.

Sources:

City of Melbourne –  Urban Forest Visual

Internet of Trees: Melbourne Uses Smart City Tech To Stay World’s Most Liveable Place

When You Give a Tree an Email Address

Comments:

“IoT powered by wireless signals” – This is a great technology that once commercialized, the application could be limitless! Not only it will conserve energy, it also provides convenience – imagine you will never have to change the batteries for smoke alarms and security cameras. According to the article, “The researchers believe that tiny passive Wi-Fi devices could be extremely cheap to make, perhaps less than a dollar”. One version of the passive Wi-Fi technology is already being commercialized through a spin-off company called Jeeva Wireless.

 

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4 thoughts on “Internet of Trees – When You Give a Tree an Email Address

  1. Wow, this is really creative! It makes the trees “come alive” and is pretty amazing for potential in many ways to come. I can only begin to imagine how many other things could be categorized and brought into the electronic fold this way. I’m not sure the value of the email as a form of representation and would like to see that stepped up a bit but it’s a start. Surely the more things in cities get tagged the future will show geocaching is not just for those that are high tech in nature.

    Like

  2. This is a really fun idea! I would totally write a tree a love letter… Urban green space is also important for air quality and improving the mental health of residents. Having a view of outdoor space has been shown to have a calming and anti-depressive effect.

    Like

  3. Hi Ava,

    I love solutions that are backed by simple crowd sourced solutions. This technology has a lot of potential as stakeholders are highly localized. Communities are incentivized by ease of contribution and by witnessing direct impact in their localities.

    Like

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