Research hopes to improve air quality, citizens’ health in highly trafficked areas
Photos from Mayor Fischer’s Twitter page
LOUISVILLE, KY (October 5, 2016)–Mayor Fischer announced today the Green For Good project at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School on Shelbyville Road. This project will evaluate the concept that a buffer of trees and shrubbery can improve the air quality and health of citizens behind the buffer in a heavily trafficked area.
“The execution of the Green For Good project is important because it could not only improve the health of St. Margaret Mary students but it also serves as a pilot that could be repeated in any neighborhood,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “This research has the potential to make our neighborhoods greener and healthier.”
A wall of trees and shrubbery will be planted in the front lawn of St. Margaret Mary to act as a filter for the air pollution from vehicles on Shelbyville Road. Air quality data and health data of St. Margaret Mary’s volunteer participants are being evaluated to find out if this buffer effectively improves the health of students and air quality metrics. St. Margaret Mary was chosen as the first project site because it sits in a highly trafficked area, they have the space to plant in the buffer and they were eager to collaborate.
Green For Good objectives align with citywide sustainability goals detailed in Sustain Louisville. By increasing our tree canopy, improving the health of students and teaching students about sustainability practices, the buffer of trees and shrubbery is expected to have a positive impact.
“The project showcases the interconnectivity of health and greening, which directly relates to the city’s sustainability goals of reducing the heat island and increasing tree canopy,” Office of Sustainability Director Maria Koetter said.
The project is a collaboration between the Institute of Healthy, Air, Water and Soil, University of Louisville, Washington University of St. Louis, Hyphae Design Laboratory, the Office of Sustainability, and Office of Civic Innovation. Funding was made possible by a grant from the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and its partner the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, local funding from the Owsley Brown Charitable Foundation and an anonymous donor.
To learn more about Louisville’s sustainability efforts, please visit https://louisvilleky.gov/government/sustainability