It generates as much oxygen as 400,000 square feet of natural woodland, it looks nice, and it can produce lots of biomass – the Urban Algae Canopy is a concept we should probably pay more attention to.


It combines biology, modern architecture and electronics, creating a structure that not only generates energy, but also adapts and responds to the environment it is placed in. Created by EcoLogics Studio and demonstrated in Milan, Italy, this structure produces as much oxygen as a forest and can generate up to 300 pounds of biomass daily, through a system that doesn’t take much space.

“This process is driven by the biology of mico-algae is inherently responsive and adaptive; visitors will benefit from this natural shading property while being able to influence it in real-time,” its inventors say.


I’d praise it even more, but I haven’t actually seen a scientific paper to document all this, just reports from the company. But if the reports are true, then this is truly something worth getting excited over. Not only does it combine a modern, sustainable technology with biology, but it’s quite nice to look at – I’d dare say it’d be a pleasant addition to any city. I feel that integrating organic and artificial systems opens up huge possibilities.

But for now, this remains only a prototype, a proof of concept. It will stay in Milan for a few months, and its creators will continue to document how it goes and if the system continues working at high efficiency. Hopefully, it works out fine and they’ll develop more in the future.

Images source: EcoLogics.

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Like us on Facebook