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Breathing life into cities: unveiling plants’ hidden air quality role

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Urban vegetation not only beautifies and enhances well-being but also acts as a passive air sampler, indicating and mitigating air pollution levels 
• However, this beneficial relationship is a double-edged sword as plants can also suffer from pollution damage

🔭 The context: Urban greenery has evolved from mere aesthetic enhancement to providing essential services like air quality improvement, temperature regulation, and habitat creation 
• Plants can significantly reduce particulate matter (PM) and absorb pollutants like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, showcasing their pivotal role in urban ecological systems

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Urban vegetation offers a natural, cost-effective solution to air pollution, a major environmental concern affecting cities worldwide 
• By absorbing gaseous pollutants and PM, plants contribute to cleaner air, mitigating the urban heat island effect and providing economic and social benefits through enhanced urban living conditions

⏭️ What's next: Emphasizing the need for strategic urban planning, the introduction of native species resistant to pollutants in urban areas can bolster efforts to maintain clean air 
• This approach addresses the dual challenge of enhancing urban green spaces while combating air pollution's negative impacts

💬 One quote: "Well-chosen and well-placed vegetation in an urban environment can provide significant economic and social benefits," highlighting the importance of strategic green space design in cities,” (Kristina Leontjevaite)

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