Scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster report that by 'greening up' our streets a massive 30% reduction in pollution could be achieved, according to research published in the Journal Environmental Science and Technology. Trees, bushes and other greenery growing in the concrete and glass 'urban canyons' of cities would deliver cleaner air at the roadside where most of us are exposed to the highest pollution levels, and could be implemented street-by-street without the need for large-scale and expensive initiatives.
The researchers found that, because pollution cannot easily escape street canyons, 'green walls' of grass, climbing ivy and other plants have a better opportunity than previously thought to act as an air pollution filter. Instead of reducing pollution by 1 or 2%, reductions of more than ten times this magnitude could be achieved, according to this study. More