Center releases report on how vegetative buffers can be used to improve local air quality and public health

Screenshot 2019-01-28 16.19.20.png

The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center is happy to announce the release of its latest report detailing how trees may be used to create vegetative buffers to improve local ambient air quality to improve pubic health in Detroit.

The report, titled “Vegetative Buffers and Tree Canopy: Promoting the Use of Trees to Improve Local Air Quality with Local Policy,” analyzes how trees and shrubs may be utilized to form vegetative buffers between common sources of air pollution, such as industrial facilities and roadways, and places where people live, work, and play. People that live near high-traffic roadways and industrial facilities are commonly exposed to high levels of several air pollutants, including particulate matter and a variety of gaseous pollutants.When properly designed and implemented, vegetative buffers can limit human exposure to these pollutants and improve the public health for people that are often the most overburdened by air pollution.

The Center, in partnership with the University of Michigan Dow Sustainability Fellows program and Detroit City Council Member Raquel Castañeda-López’s office, received feedback from local residents regarding the potential use of vegetative buffers in Detroit. This report details the feedback received from residents, scientific support for the use of vegetative buffers to improve local air quality, a review of existing Detroit laws and policies regarding vegetative buffers, and a survey of vegetative buffer ordinances from other cities.

Read the full report here:

This report was made possible with funding from the Community Action to Promote Health Environments (CAPHE), a community-based participatory research partnership that includes community-based organizations, the health practice community, environmental organizations, and academic researches. Please read more about their work at: