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Open AccessArticle

The Impact of Planting Trees on NOx Concentrations: The Case of the Plaza de la Cruz Neighborhood in Pamplona (Spain)

1
Environment Department, Research Center for Energy, Environment and Technology (CIEMAT), Madrid 28040, Spain
2
Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, University of Salento, S.P. 6 Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce 73100, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2017, 8(7), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos8070131
Received: 4 May 2017 / Revised: 19 July 2017 / Accepted: 20 July 2017 / Published: 22 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Urban Ventilation Assessment and Flow Modelling)
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Abstract

In this paper, the role of trees on airborne pollutant dispersion in a real neighborhood in Pamplona (Spain) is discussed. A Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model is employed and evaluated against concentrations measured during the last part of winter season at a monitoring station located in the study area. Aerodynamic and deposition effects of trees are jointly considered, which has only been done in few recent studies. Specifically, the impact on NOx concentration of: (a) tree-foliage; and (b) introducing new vegetation in a tree-free street is analyzed considering several deposition velocities and Leaf Area Densities (LAD) to model deciduous and evergreen vegetation. Results show that the higher the LAD, the higher the deposition (concentration reduction) and the blocking aerodynamic effect (concentration increase). Regardless of foliage or deposition rates, results suggest the predominance of aerodynamic effects which induce concentration increases up to a maximum of 7.2%, while deposition induces concentration decreases up to a maximum of 6.9%. The inclusion of new trees in one street modifies the distribution of pollutant, not only in that street, but also in nearby locations with concentration increase or decrease. This finding suggests that planting trees in street with traffic as an air pollution reduction strategy seems to be not appropriate in general, highlighting the necessity of ad hoc studies for each particular case to select the suitable location of new vegetation. View Full-Text
Keywords: street vegetation; CFD; aerodynamic and deposition; tree scenarios; urban planning street vegetation; CFD; aerodynamic and deposition; tree scenarios; urban planning
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Santiago, J.-L.; Rivas, E.; Sanchez, B.; Buccolieri, R.; Martin, F. The Impact of Planting Trees on NOx Concentrations: The Case of the Plaza de la Cruz Neighborhood in Pamplona (Spain). Atmosphere 2017, 8, 131.

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