Project title: The Influence of Local Green Space to The Bucharest Air Quality
Team: The Space Programmers Team
2019-2020 Școala Gimnazială Ion Heliade Rădulescu Nr. 11 Bucharest Romania 7 Student’s age: 10-11
Summary of the project
We studied various types of plants and their influence in decreasing the pollution. Some trees are not suitable for our climate, so we choose to work with trees that are already proven to have a good development We surveyed the air pollution via aerlive.ro, airly.ro, satellite data (Sentinel) We measured green space in Bucharest, both from satellite and also from official data. The green space is slightly decreasing year on year (in may, during peak forestation) Today, the amount of green space is 23.21 sqm/inhabitant, below the minimum 26sqm, from European regulations. Also, Bucharest is on the top of the most polluted cities, so there is a direct connection that we observed. Wien, for example, has better air quality and higher (120sqm/inhabitant), Helsinki 100 sqm/citizen, or Stockholm (86) We set up an Arduino temperature sensor + we get public data on temperature, humidity and PM 2.5 and PM 10 After obtaining the information, we created a to do list for city hall + we thought what we can do ourselves, so we can save the city. We planted trees and balcony gardens. We created a small website to promote our findings. Because of Coronavirus lockdown, we could not do a lot of actions from our to do list that involved going out, visiting schools, measuring pollution near parks and near urban landscapes. However, our data shows pretty clear that our city needs more trees, at least 100,000 of them, because the benefits will be quite high: For example CO2 saved – 729 pounds = 328kg saved per 20 years x 10,000 = 3,280,000 tons of CO2 saved
Bucharest is in top 10 the most polluted cities in Europe (8th place ) Why is Bucharest polluted? The reasons Bucharest is polluted are : Old cars. More than 44 % of the cars in Bucharest are 16 years or older. Landfills. At the landfills the trash is being burnt and this results in polluted air Traffic. In Bucharest there are to much cars on small streets. Trees. There are not enough trees planted around Bucharest. If we had trees planted around Bucharest (in a circular shape, as a belt) the air would have been filtered and the air would have been less polluted. So, we wanted to investigate how the green space is influencing the air pollution and therefore the climate. First, we set up meetings with the whole team from V C, from School Ion Heliade Radulescu. We’ve met at our houses and, since Coronavirus started, online, via zoom. We discussed the problem and we tried to see how we can tackle it and fix it. We divided the tasks between us and we started to work. We used i-treetools.org, a tool designed for USA and Canada (but we could tweak it so we can use it for Romania, which fortunately is at the same latitude and have similar climate of USA. Our supposition was that if we’ll plant trees, there will be benefits for the whole city. Here we choose a test building, we planted 10 trees around, we saw be benefits calculated than we extrapolated to 10,000 more sites like it – winter savings 48.71$/10 trees/20 years x 10,000 (multiplication factor) = 487,100 USD – summer savings 13.62 usd/10 trees/20 years x 10,000 (multiplication factor) = 136,200 USD – CO2 – 729 pounds = 328kg saved per 20 years x 10,000 = 3,280,000 tons CO2 saved
Actions to help lessen the problem
Studying different types of vegetation GREENERS suggest following two directions: Actions for outside Bucharest: Plant 100.000 trees around Bucharest, in a circular shape, as a belt, to filter the air and reduce pollution – we figure out a list of best trees that are good source of reducing pollution and easily adapt to the Romanian microclimate (fast growing, big leaves, etc.) Actions for inside Bucharest: More Parks – Improve air quality, biodiversity conservation and habitat creation to support local flora and fauna species Save the forests – Improve of air quality through: carbon sequestration, biodiversity conservation and habitat creation for local flora and fauna species, mitigation of isle of heat More Trees – Improve air quality through protection alignments against emissions caused by cars; mitigation of noise pollution Encourage Block gardens (flowers and vegetables, balcony fruits) – Mitigation of water erosion, support for birds, plants and invertebrates species Schools gardens – Improve air quality due to vegetation input and mitigation of noise pollution Public institutions gardens (plant fruit frees) – Reduce water erosion Sport fields – Improve public health through the promotion of sport activities Squares – Reduce water erosion Industrial and commercial areas associated green spaces – Reduce water erosion What else can we do? Become activists to sustain more urban green – GO Greeeeners!!! (start small, but with the power of our own example, others will follow) Create a cause and attract more activists (we are now a small group in our school, but soon new students will join us) Build social media Meet the authorities to sustain our cause
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