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Environmental benefits and impacts of greenspace development

Home research Environmental benefits and impacts of greenspace development

This research aims to identify and assess the benefits and impacts of greenspace establishment in the urban environment

Research objectives

Findings and Recommendations

Scientific evidence suggests that the UK will be subjected to warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers, rising air temperatures, increased storminess and heavier rainfall. These factors may contribute to an increased risk of significant pollutant linkages forming where greenspaces have been established on regenerated land.

Tree have been shown to take up more atmospheric pollution than other types of vegetation because of their large leaf area and increased air turbulence around them. To understand how urban and peri-urban trees and greenspace can improve air quality, an the PUrE Software Platform has been created (Cleall, et al, 2009),. Modelling of pollutant indicates that some tree species indeed have a net beneficial effect, while others may not, particularly under some extreme climatic conditions.

Development of Methuselah, a strategy for monitoring the impacts of urban greenspaces.


Kieron Doick


Forestry Commission Policy

Use of land degraded by former industrial and urban activity makes an increasingly important contribution to the expansion of woodland. Trees planted on such sites offer immense social benefits in addition to the possibility of economic activity on formerly unproductive land. This programme supports the related objectives of the English Forestry Strategy and across Great Britain generally.



PDF, 0.85 MB

A monitoring and evaluation strategy for greenspace

England Forestry Strategy

PDF, 1.35 MB

A New Focus for England's Woodlands. Strategic Priorities and Programmes.

Research Status
Research Groups
Urban forests
Funding & partners
  • Building Research Establishment
  • Forestry Commission
  • May Gurney
  • Sustainable Urban Brownfield Regeneration: Integrated Management (SUBR:IM)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Reading