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Low hedges could reduce urban air pollution

The dangerous impact of urban air pollution could be reduced by strategically placing low hedges alongside roads according to a new study.

The study points out that low hedges reduce the impact of pollution emitting from vehicles where there are large buildings close to the road. Low hedges are actually more effective than taller trees in these conditions as higher trees only have an impact in areas which are more open and less populated. In fact, in some environments trees can actually make the pollution more concentrated (depending on wind conditions and patterns).

The quality of air in built-up areas is a primary health concern, as around 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and this is projected to rise to 66% by 2050.

Inputting a green infrastructure in urban planning is the best solution for improving air quality as well as enhancing the sustainability for growing populations. These green solutions include green roofs, green walls, street trees and vegetation barriers which absorb and influence the distribution of pollution, making the air cleaner.

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