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Sprucing up cities with greenery goes well beyond aesthetics: a study in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology reports that plants in urban centers reduce concentrations of pollution at far greater rates than previously thought.
The study reports that levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, both hazardous to humans, were lowered by 40 and 60 percent, respectively. Previously, plants were thought to reduce pollutants in city streets by less than five percent!
Grasses, bushes, and climbing ivy are all deemed effective at removing pollutants. Trees can also be effective if special attention is paid to avoiding pollution getting trapped below their crowns.
Chelsea is a former newspaper reporter who has spent the past few years teaching English in Poland, Finland and Japan. When she wasn't teaching or writing, Chelsea was traveling Europe and Asia, sampling spicy street food along the way.