Plants, inside and outside, can help purify the air.
Vegetation, both indoors and outdoors, is beneficial to the air we breathe (although to make a difference to indoor air you would need a lot of plants).
Green infrastructure offers many benefits for the health of both people and the environment. On a large scale, vegetation plays an important part in removing air pollutants. In local spaces, like near busy roads, it can help their dispersion, transporting pollutants with the wind away from the source and where they get diluted with cleaner surrounding air.
The right green infrastructure in the right place can reliably reduce exposure to air pollution, with a vegetation barrier potentially halving the levels of pollutants just behind the barrier.
Green walls are in demand for schools next to busy roads. There are many different varieties and there is no agreed best solution. However, bear in mind that green walls are not always suitable (e.g. due to lack of soil or at a large distance away from the pollution source) and require ongoing maintenance.
Trees for Cities is trialling green infrastructure, design and planting techniques at schools.
There is a list of suppliers in our directory.
For more information, here are some resources:
A guide published in 2019 re the use of green infrastructure to reduce air pollution exposure publishes by the Mayor of London’s office. (download)
A guide published in 2019 by the Tree Design Action Group. (download)
A guide published in 2019 by GECARE, Surrey University re the use of green infrastructure for air pollution abatement. (download)
Read how green infrastructures improved the air quality by 37% in the Chiswick Oasis at St Mary’s Primary in Chiswick, London.