Working with plants to fight pollution

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An academic from Goldsmiths, University of London has helped develop a unique space where plants are used in the fight against pollution.

The Low Emission Garden

The Low Emission Garden

Professor Jennifer Gabrys from the Goldsmiths Sociology Department, leads the Citizen Sense project which investigates the relationship between technologies and practices of environmental sensing and citizen engagement.

The Low Emission Neighbourhood Garden is the group’s latest project as part of which Professor Gabrys, along with materials designer Francesca Perona and graphic designer Sarah Garcin, has carefully selected plants with specific qualities. 

Some possess bio indicators relating to pollutants, where they signal the presence of particular pollutants through changes in their physiology and appearance.

Other plants absorb or channel pollutants through deposition and dispersal, and some can also accumulate and transform dangerous particles.

The Garden is a collaboration between Citizen Sense, Museum of London and the City of London Corporation as part of the City’s Low Emission Neighbourhood project.

It is currently on display at the Museum of London and available to visit for free.

This is the latest in a series of projects from Citizen Sense. Findings from their most recent work in November 2017 revealed that South East London pollution levels had reached up to six times the World Health Organisation safety limit on a number of occasions.

Find out more about Citizen Sense.