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Redbridge secures 100,000 air quality grant

Redbridge council awarded funding to install green walls, plant trees and raise awareness of air quality in the borough’s schools

Redbridge council has been awarded £100,000 from the Mayor of London to help fund air quality projects in the borough.

The money – to be spent over a three-year period from 2013 to 2016 – will be used to fund projects at two of the Borough’s schools in South Ilford, which have yet to be selected.

The green wall recently installed by TfL close to the Mermaid theatre in Blackfriars

Green walls – such as this recently installed by Transport for London in Blackfriars – are used to absorb pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide

The projects include tree planting and the creation of screens and green walls, which are parts of buildings that are covered with vegetation in order to absorbing harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Research by the University of Leicester last year found that air pollution could be cut by up to 30% by installing green walls and greening up city streets (see airqualitynews.com story).

These projects would accompany educational campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of pupils, staff and parents of the actions they can take to reduce emissions and their exposure to harmful pollutants, the council said.

According to the council, the proposals are yet to be finalised but are expected to be shaped within the next month.

Councillor Alex Wilson, cabinet member for public protection and planning said, “An important part of keeping Redbridge cleaner involves taking steps to ensure that we reduce our carbon footprint and improve the quality of the air in the borough.

“I’m delighted that we were able to secure this funding so we can use innovative techniques to improve the quality of air near some schools and ensure that students understand the benefits of having a green lifestyle.”

Air Quality Fund

The grant was among the first to be awarded from the Mayor’s £20 million Air Quality Fund to support local efforts to tackle pollution hotspots in the capital over the next 10 years.
Any money provided through the Fund is being match-funded by the borough or partnership group.

Among other recipients of the first £2.3 million of awards in East London were City of London, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Newham, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Newham councils.

Projects include Hackney council’s plans for a Green Action Zone to tackle pollution in Shoreditch, Hoxton and Haggerston; green infrastructure and cycling initiatives in Waltham Forest; and Barts Health NHS Trust Cleaner Air Project, which will see health care professionals and councils working together to communicate air quality messages and advice.

Cleaner Air Boroughs

As part of applying for the funding, 6 boroughs have also signed up to become Cleaner Air Boroughs.

This involves boroughs working to meet six criteria, including reducing emissions from their own vehicle fleets, promoting air quality with their residents and integrating air quality into their new public health responsibilities.

The Mayor of London’s team will work with these boroughs on delivering improvements at a local level and the first set of successful boroughs will be announced in 2014.

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