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St Joseph’s is a small Catholic Primary School in the heart of London. Two-minutes’ walk from Holborn Station, it has been named among 10 of the most polluted school in the country. As a solution to tackle St Josephs playground pollution problem, we have designed an urban greening scheme alongside Treebox who are experts in this field. We aim to install an impressive 250 square metres of green living space into our small playground, by maximising on the ample wall space we have available to us on the boundaries of our playground. By introducing edible walls, ivy screens, water features and a pioneering new technology called Air Purifcation Units, we can filter up to 2 million litres of air to 99% purity every 24 hours, enough clean air to sustain every single one of St Josephs students.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Our school playground sits within a catchment whereby NO2 emissions top 25 tons per square kilometre, which is six times the national average. A recent US study has found that long-term exposure to pollution from traffic is reducing children’s lung capacity by almost 20%, which has serious life-long health impacts and can reduce life expectancy. Our children deserve to be able to spend their playtime in a safe and pleasant environment. As an inner city school we have a very limited space, and as such our children currently spend their playtime amongst brick walls and overbearing tall buildings! We have tried our hardest to brighten up our small playground area by painting murals of rolling hills and luscious tree’s on the brick walls, however only the real thing can have an impact on reducing pollution levels in our playground, and in turn having a positive impact on the health of our children.
Steps to get it done:
Our ‘Clean & Green Playground Air’ scheme maximises the tall walls on the boundaries of our playground, meaning we can introduce air purifying plants without taking away precious playground space for our children to play. The design utilises a variety of urban greening products; Ivy Screens, Edible living walls, water features and potted trees, all of which have pollutant absorbing and air purifying benefits to the environment. Other benefits of greening the playground space includes the following; increasing biodiversity, dust suppression, cooling the air, visually appealing, tactile nature of plants, education on the importance of nature and increasing overall well-being.
About the space
London Borough of Camden