Our researcher Long Xie was supported by the Nessling Foundation with a grant for his post-doc project. Xie aims to enhance cities’ resilience when facing challenges caused by climate change by an outdoor greenwall. The outdoor greenwall will, for instance, restrain and filter the flow of urban runoff. The project will be carried out in cooperation with the University of Helsinki and InnoGreen.

Outdoor greenwall mitigates urban environmental burdens

Climate change causes a continuously increasing burden in urban areas. Rain showers will become more intensive and structures of cities will radiate heat in a way that negatively affects the areas’ habitability. Cities are also a major source of emissions causing climate change and dilapidating biodiversity. 

These topics are at the very center of our researcher Long Xie’s post-doc project. ‘Urban infrastructure is in a great need of new innovations addressing both citizens’ and nature’s well-being. My project aims to develop the outdoor greenwall responding to these needs by filtering urban runoff and bringing leafy greenery to the citizens,’ Xie says. 

The Nessling Foundation decided to grant Xie’s project at the end of 2021. ‘Xie understands the link between climate change, biodiversity loss, and risks caused by poor urban runoff management. The project has potential to offer various and scalable tools for solving environmental problems. And that is why we wanted to support it,’ finds Minttu Jaakkola, the research director of the Nessling Foundation.

innogreen ulkoviherseinä
Prototype of the outdoor greenwall.

Cooperation between university and company leads to practical solutions

InnoGreen and the University of Helsinki are Xie’s most essential cooperation partners in the project. ‘This is a relatively unknown model of collaboration at least to university students,’ Xie says. ‘However, cooperation can be highly valuable to both parties,’ he continues. Researchers get to bring their findings into practice and their research gets more attention. Companies, on the other hand, get the opportunity to increase their expertise and improve business activities by research-based products and services.

Collaboration across the boundaries is important especially when dealing with wide concepts like climate change and biodiversity loss. ‘In order to detect the environmental crisis we need not only current research but practical solutions as well. Xie’s project is a valuable example showing that groundbreaking research can be conducted in a way where it certainly has a positive effect on society,’ Jaakkola says. 

During the project, Xie observes how the outdoor greenwall could store and filter urban runoff even more effectively. InnoGreen supports Xie in carrying out the research and in building the prototype of the outdoor greenwall.

Long Xie

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