Nav: Home

House developers could be the secret weapon to improving air quality

October 30, 2019

In a paper published by a multinational and multidisciplinary team of researchers in the journal Environmental International, led by Surrey's renowned Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), experts argue that the international research community should put together a set of clear guidelines for developers and urban planners to follow when implementing green infrastructure - such as planting trees, hedges and green roofs - to maximise their benefits and to reverse the effects of air pollution.

The paper argues that it will take a global community of multi-disciplined researchers to get to the bottom of how air pollution, green infrastructure and human health are connected - three areas that are typically studied in isolation. However, until the evidence becomes clearer, house developers, urban planners and politicians should be given the best possible information to make sure future built communities provide the maximum environmental and health benefits to residents.

Professor Prashant Kumar, Director of GCARE at the University of Surrey and the lead author of the study, said: "It's thought that the UK needs to build 300,000 homes a year to keep up with demand - and this pressure for housing is the same in many places across the world. It's clear that we need to enlist housing developers and planners in the effort to reduce air pollution; for them to be effective allies, they need clear and easy to follow guidelines on what is the best way to deploy green infrastructure.

"A simple task such as planting a hedge near a roadside is more complicated than it sounds - planners will have to make a decision on the species of the plant and its location to maximise benefits and, where possible, we need to make those decisions as easy as possible for them.

"We at the University of Surrey are working, together with colleagues across the globe, are working to build a better understanding of how air pollution, green infrastructure and human health are connected. It will take a true collaborative effort to overcome the air pollution and climate crisis, but together it is achievable."
-end-
This work has been supported by the EPSRC project INHALE (EP/T003189/1), Surrey's Urban Living Award (GREENMASS) and the H2020 project iSCAPE (GA No. 689954).

Note to editors:

We have a Globelynx camera and can offer live interviews with Professor Kumar.

Source

Kumar, P., Druckman, A., Gallagher, J., Gatersleben, B., Allison, S., Eisenman, T.S., Hoang, U., Hama, S., Tiwari, A., Sharma, A., Abhijith, KV, Adlakha, D., McNabola, A., Astell-Burt, T., Feng, X., Skeldon, A.C., de Lusignan, S., Morawska, L., 2019. The nexus between air pollution, green infrastructure and human health. Environment International, In Press. Available Online at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2019.105181

University of Surrey

Related Air Pollution Articles:

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
New framework will help decide which trees are best in the fight against air pollution
A study from the University of Surrey has provided a comprehensive guide on which tree species are best for combating air pollution that originates from our roads -- along with suggestions for how to plant these green barriers to get the best results.
Air pollution is one of the world's most dangerous health risks
Researchers calculate that the effects of air pollution shorten the lives of people around the world by an average of almost three years.
The world faces an air pollution 'pandemic'
Air pollution is responsible for shortening people's lives worldwide on a scale far greater than wars and other forms of violence, parasitic and insect-born diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and smoking, according to a study published in Cardiovascular Research.
New study examines mortality costs of air pollution in US
Scholars from the Gies College of Business at Illinois studied the effects of acute fine particulate matter exposure on mortality, health care use and medical costs among older Americans through Medicare data and changes in local wind direction.
Air pollution in childhood linked to schizophrenia
Children who grow up in areas with heavy air pollution have a higher risk of developing schizophrenia.
Air pollution can worsen bone health
A new study by the CHAI Project with over 3,700 people in India associates air pollution with a higher risk to develop osteoporosis.
Depression and suicide risk linked to air pollution
People exposed to higher levels of air pollution are more likely to experience depression or die by suicide, finds a new analysis led by UCL, published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
Air pollution linked with new causes of hospital admissions
Several diseases have been linked for the first time with exposure to short-term air pollution.
Air pollution linked to several new causes of hospital admissions
Short term exposure to fine particulate matter in the air (known as PM2.5) is associated with several newly identified causes of hospital admissions, even at levels below international air quality guidelines, finds a US study published by The BMJ today.
More Air Pollution News and Air Pollution Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.