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Open-Source Software to Help Cities Plant in Pursuit of Clean Air

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An urban green space.

Free to use, the open source software enables users to estimate changes in pollutant concentrations (throughout the cross-section of a street) resulting from different planting schemes.


Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. have developed free, open source software that towns and cities can use to estimate reductions in air pollutant concentrations from different methods of street planting.

Street planting involves altering air currents within streets and beside open roads to redistribute pollution.

The position and amount of planting on a street, and the street's orientation and layout, are important factors to consider.

The Green Infrastructure for Roadside Air Quality (GI4RAQ) Platform focuses on nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter, and takes into account how background wind conditions interact with the local urban form and planting scheme.

Lead researcher James Levine said, "There are many good reasons to invest in green infrastructure, but if planting in the name of improving air quality, we must ensure it delivers genuine benefits."

From University of Birmingham (U.K.)
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