Future urban planning need to consider designing and implementing more “green infrastructure,” such as trees or hedges in the built environment to create a more healthy urban lifestyle.
These green solutions include street trees, vegetation barriers (including hedges), green (or living) walls, and green roofs. They act as porous bodies, which influence local dispersion of pollution and aid the deposition and removal of airborne pollutants, making the air cleaner.
The harmful impact of urban air pollution could be combated by strategically placing low hedges along roads in a built-up environment of cities instead of taller trees, the new study has found.
The study, just published in the journal, Atmospheric Environment, points out that low hedges reduce the impact of pollution from vehicles in cityscapes where there are large buildings close to roads, far more effectively than taller trees. In some environments, trees actually make the pollution more concentrated depending on prevailing wind conditions and built-up configurations.
Higher trees only have more of an impact in reducing air pollution in areas, which are more open and are less densely populated by taller buildings.
Apart from air pollution reduction, other benefits of urban green infrastructure include urban heat island mitigation, the potential reduction in energy consumption, better storm water management, and climate change mitigation.
Image source: The Martha Blog