Krakow opens Smog Free Tower

The Smog Free Tower, at 7 metres the world's biggest outdoor air purifier, opened Thursday in Poland's southern city of Krakow, known for its high smog levels.

The innovatory device, created by Dutch designer Daan Roosegaarde, uses an ion-based technology to de-pollute air by 20-30 percent within a radius of more than 10 metres. It is able to filter 30,000 cubic metres of air per hour.

Roosegaarde said he got the idea for the purifier four years ago after encountering heavy smog in the Chinese capital Beijing. He added that his device alone was unable to resolve smog problems in a large city, and stressed that its use should be accompanied by more broadscale environmental measures like the more widespread use of electric vehicles, bicycles and clean energy.

"The tower alone won't solve the city's problems, I think everyone realises this. But in creating sites like this one, we can show that it is possible," Roosgaarde said in Krakow.

Located in Krakow's Jordan Park, the Smog Free Tower will operate until April 26. The project was financed by Poland's ING Bank Slaski bank. The Smog Free Tower is part of Roosegaarde's broader Smog Free Project, under which similar installations are planned in Colombia and Mexico.