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Green Heart Project Plants Trees for Health
Reduce Pollutants to Reduce Chronic Diseases


In addition to improving health, the Green Heart Project hopes to increase property values and create a stronger sense of community in the neighborhoods that participate in the study. Credit: Green Heart Project

The Green Heart Project, an initiative started by the University of Louisville, aims to enhance human health by improving the environment. By adding more trees, shrubs and greenery to a given neighborhood, thereby reducing exposure to environmental pollutants, they hope to decrease the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Engineering students from Cornell University are assisting by developing a model to determine which trees work best, and where. With more than 12,000 trees to be planted each year for the duration of the five-year Green Heart Project, increasing the green space in Louisville, Kentucky, by an estimated 30 percent, these students have plenty to experiment with.

The team will study leaf density, turbulence, and how trees affect the flow of air from highways to neighborhoods in Louisville, where one interstate bisects the city from east to west, another cuts north to south, and a third partially surrounds the city.

Once developed, the model can be applied to reduce pollutants in other cities.

To learn more about the Green Heart Project, click here. (

Learn more about how trees help to reduce pollutants by visiting the LandscapeOnline search tool ( ) using the keyword "trees."

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October 17, 2019, 6:18 am PDT

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