Sunday, 29 July 2012

GREEN WALLS TO CUT AIR POLLUTION

Kent(1) and Medway(2) both have air quality management areas where pollution is above permissible levels and needs to be reduced. Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer of Kent Green Party, suggests a new method of dealing with serious air pollution:
"There are 32 Air Quality Management Areas in Kent and 3 more in Medway. Some of these have been extended to cover larger areas since they were first introduced. Kent Green Party is supporting the use of Green Walls(3) to help reduce air pollution. This initiative can also form part of regeneration strategies, changing the way parts of our urban areas look. This approach is already being followed by Transport for London. TfL has planted green walls as part of a raft of measures to deal with air pollution in the capital. The first London green wall was installed on Marylebone Road last year and an initial scientific analysis shows that all 15 varieties of plants used have been able to trap pollutants, although some have been more effective than others. That information will now be used to ensure more effective planting in future.  The second London green wall has just been installed at the Mermaid in Blackfriars(4).
"A study by scientists from Imperial College London has shown that planting green walls strategically can reduce air pollution by as much as 30% - much higher than the 5% achieved by conventional street planting(5). Since air pollution is estimated to kill 29,000 people a year in the UK, and damage the health of tens of thousands more, Green Walls could make a huge contribution to public health (6)."
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FURTHER INFORMATION: Dr Hazel Dawe, Campaigns Officer, KENT GREEN PARTY, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above. Promoted by H.Dawe for Kent Green Party, both at 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF. KENT GREEN NEWS, free ezine, is available by subscription at www.kentgreenparty.org
Notes:
1.      There are currently 32 Air Quality Management Areas in Kent, which are primarily alongside motorways including the A2, M2, A20, M20, A25, M25, M26, A28 and A228 corridors as well as parts of Canterbury, Dartford, Dover, Gravesend, Maidstone, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells town centres. Air Quality Management Areas have also been declared at Dover Eastern Docks due to shipping emissions and theNorthfleet industrial area. Action plans have to be produced for these areas setting out measures to reduce air pollution. See: http://www.kent.gov.uk/environment_and_planning/environment_and_climate_change/environmental_health.aspx
2.      Medway previously had six separate Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) but five of these needed to be extended. At its meeting on 29 June 2010, Medway Council's Cabinet agreed to declare these new and extended areas as AQMAs by revoking the existing six AQMAs and replacing them with one large central AQMA and two smaller areas. You can download maps of the new AQMAs: Pier Road, Gillingham (pdf 1,043KB) High Street, Rainham (pdf 1,215KB) Central Medway (pdf 1,280KB)
3.      For pictures of Green Walls, enter 'Images Green Walls' into a search engine.
4.      http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/media/newscentre/24702.aspx
5.      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18873391
6.      Figures from newsletter of Keith Taylor MEP, Autumn 2011.

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