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Green walls could reduce city pollution

26 September 2012 No Comment

Introducing ‘green walls’ of vegetation in big cities could drastically reduce pollution levels, according to new research.

Increasingly, architects and designers are incorporating solar panels, rainwater harvesting and insulating internal wall cladding to create sustainable buildings, but as yet, green walls have not featured heavily. However, that could be about to change.

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Living walls have a dramatic effect on pollution levels

Research published in the Environmental Science and Technology journal suggests that planting living walls could reduce pollution levels much more efficiently and quickly than other initiatives – including congestion charges. Scientists predict that a 30 per cent reduction could be achieved with the introduction of more greenery, businessgreen.com says.

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Pollution levels are high within big cities in particular, wherein the density of buildings – known as ‘street canyons’ – makes it hard for pollution to dissipate. Trees, bushes and other greenery are especially good at filtering out these pollutants, though the varieties used would need to be able to flourish in a range of conditions.

Introduction of ‘green walls’

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Report co-author, Professor Rob MacKenzie – of the University of Birmingham – told bbc.co.uk:

“The benefit of green walls is that they clean up the air coming into and staying in the street canyon. Planting more [green walls] in a strategic way could be a relatively easy way to take control of our local pollution escaping.”

Author: Elizabeth Smythe    Date Written: 26 Sept 2012

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