Green screens improve air quality in urban environments

11 January 2018

Horticulture Week’s recent conference exploring green infrastructure and its new technical developments and challenges raised the headline issue of the efficiency of plants in helping improve air quality within urban environments. The Healthy Design, Healthy Places Conference was all about how the landscape design and construction industry can resolve those challenges and meet the growing demand for healthier places to work and live.

Green Screens and Living Walls: Top Performers in Pollutant Mitigation

One of the speakers at the event , Chris Churchman of Churchman Landscape Architects, has been studying the effects of plants on pollution, working with the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, part of the University of Birmingham. Churchman indicated that around 50,000 preventable deaths per year could be attributed to pollution. Whilst every site is diverse – different aspects, building and landscape configurations, wind direction, soils, plant types and ages – one of the overriding factors is that planting mitigates pollution.

Green Screens on the frontline

Green screens are often on the frontline, by the roadside, along urban highways, working hard on improving air quality and maximising a visually aesthetic green expanse when space is at its highest premium in a city environment.

“Living walls are in the top three planting forms at removing pollution”

Churchman summarised: “We know that evergreen hedges, deciduous hedges and living walls are the top three at removing pollution. Places where plants are likely to have the most mitigating effect are where concentration is highest, where air mixing is greatest, where residence time of pollution is longest and at locations of greatest sensitivity, such as schools and hospitals.”

One of our recent Mobilane Green Screens installations at a Lambeth school demonstrates this admirably – improving air quality, reducing roadside noise and offering privacy and beauty, hand-in-hand.

PM10 Research: The Benefits of Mobilane Green Screens in reducing pollution

Mobilane Hedera helix Green Screens reduce PM10 particles

Our Mobilane Green Screens have been developed with security, air-cleansing and aesthetics as their core benefits. It is vital to maintain continuous development of our products and to investigate and understand their use and scope in landscaping and construction projects. In this way, we can continue to offer the most effective natural solutions to improve a landscape’s surroundings, air quality and overall environment.

In partnership with another leading authority in design and engineering within the built environment, Atkins, we installed Mobilane Green Screens, woven and intertwined with ivy, in a Birmingham City Centre location at the end of April 2015.


Download the full white paper of preliminary findings