Creating Cool Environments with Green Spaces

Page last updated 28th February, 2010 by Corny


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Trees change urban micro-climates for the better. Firstly, trees create shade in summer, allowing cooler air to accumulate and circulate at ground level.

Secondly, trees help to reduce the air temperature by the cooling effect of evaporation. Trees ´transpire´ water, releasing large amounts of moisture into the air. One large tree can put out 750 to 1100 litres of water on a summer day. Water features like lakes, ponds and fountains, help to cool the environment by the cooling effect of evaporation.

Thirdly, trees and all other vegetation, have a positive effect on pollution as they steadily extract a wide range of pollutants generated by traffic, including carbon and sulphur dioxides, ozone, heavy metals and diesel particulates from the air.

Trees also help reduce the impact of climate change; over one year a mature tree will remove about 22kg of carbon dioxide. Trees with paler leaves can potentially help to reflect heat upwards increasing their cooling effect. Additionally, creating more green spaces and planting trees speeds up drainage and reduces the risk of flooding.



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