Plant Health

Trees and Clean Urban Air

By Dr. Rob Mackenzie, 24 July 2017

This week, we are teaming up with the team at TDAG to help them with some research.  Dr. Emma Ferranti is exploring the decision-making process when it comes to selecting trees and other green elements in urban settings, with specific reference to air quality.  She explains below.

This is such an important issue that we are devoting all of this week’s magazine to her work, with an article by Professor Rob Mackenzie attached to provide some perspective.  Most weeks, only members of CAS can access the full magazine.  This week, we make it available to all of you, and include a link to the forum where it originally appeared, ‘The Conversation’.


Are you interested in planting trees or other green infrastructure to improve air quality? Do you think you have the information you need to make decisions about planting green infrastructure for air quality? What do you need to know to make the best decisions? Dr Emma Ferranti at the University of Birmingham is canvassing opinions on this topic as part of a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship. We want to make sure that recent research in this area by universities and research institutions is available to practitioners, but more importantly, that the research meets practitioner needs. If you have thoughts on the questions we have posed, or thoughts on this topic more generally, please contact e.ferranti@bham.ac.uk . All responses are welcome, whether they be one sentence, bullet points, or a short paragraph. All responses will be treated anonymously – if in doubt please ask.


There is an on-going debate about the role that trees may play in improving urban air quality, with some studies challenging the consensus.  Professor Rob Mackenzie, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Birmingham shares some thoughts in an article  written for The Conversation.


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