Determining broad scale associations between air pollutants and urban forestry: A novel multifaceted methodological approach

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Environmental Pollution, 2019, 247 pp. 474 - 481
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Global urbanisation has resulted in population densification, which is associated with increased air pollution, mainly from anthropogenic sources. One of the systems proposed to mitigate urban air pollution is urban forestry. This study quantified the spatial associations between concentrations of CO, NO₂ SO₂ and PM₁₀ and urban forestry, whilst correcting for anthropogenic sources and sinks, thus explicitly testing the hypothesis that urban forestry is spatially associated with reduced air pollution on a city scale. A Land Use Regression (LUR) model was constructed by combining air pollutant concentrations with environmental variables, such as land cover type and use, to develop predictive models for air pollutant concentrations. Traffic density and industrial air pollutant emissions were added to the model as covariables to permit testing of the main effects after correcting for these air pollutant sources. It was found that the concentrations of all air pollutants were negatively correlated with tree canopy cover and positively correlated with dwelling density, population density and traffic count. The LUR models enabled the establishment of a statistically significant spatial relationship between urban forestry and air pollution mitigation. These findings further demonstrate the spatial relationships between urban forestry and reduced air pollution on a city-wide scale, and could be of value in developing planning policies focused on urban greening.
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