Innovation That Matters

The SUGi app | Photo source Sugi Project

Urban rewilding project cleans and cools city air


The small-plot, ultra-dense forests are planted with native species and focus on improving local biodiversity

Spotted: The SUGi Project and app connects interested locals with expert rewilders, for super-concentrated urban rewilding. Using the Miyawaki Method for fast-growing reforestation, each SUGi project only uses plants that are native to the area. Densely planted seedlings and small trees encourage growth, and rewilders tend new plots for a period of several years.

Once a forest has established itself, it is left to grow as nature intended. Unique geo-tags allocated to each forest allows for easy tracking and the online monitoring of growth. Contributors to the project are asked to donate amounts starting at €4.5, to get in touch with suggestions for new forest locations, or to use the app to gift a tree to someone. The SUGi team evaluates potential new projects before connecting the community with a local rewilding expert.

Despite their relatively small size, ultra-dense urban forests provide essential health and social care benefits. Air up to 300 yards away from a tree can have a third fewer fine particulates in it, and that surrounding a small forest is generally one to three degrees Celsius cooler. Moreover, daily exposure to greenery, especially trees, is associated with improved mental wellbeing.

Springwise has spotted growing numbers of projects using plants to help increase urban-environmental health. The largest living wall in Europe will capture up to eight tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and plans for a smart forest city include electric transport and water gardens.

Explore More: Sustainability Innovations




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