Pollutants in the Urban Environment

Simon Birkett made this Freedom of Information request to Forestry Commission

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Please tell me what information you have obtained about an urban greenspace in London (referred to on your Forest Research website) as part of your project 'Demonstration of the Pollutants in the Urban Environment (PUrE) framework'.

See: http://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/fr/INFD...

I am interested in any and all material information relating to this project e.g. the location of the urban greenspace as well as (in respect of it) data, models, reports, emails, letters and output from computer models.

With best wishes.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Birkett

Founder and Principal Contact

Campaign for Clean Air in London

Brunt, Andrew,

Dear Mr. Birkett,

Thank you for your request regarding data derived from Forest Research's
involvement in the PUrE research consortium
([1]http://www.pureframework.org/). The urban greenspace referred to on
our webpages was actually a network of proposed and existing greenspaces
that form part of the East London Green Grid (ELGG). As you may be aware,
the ELGG is the delivery mechanism of the `Greening the Gateway'
initiative for the creation of an integrated network of greenspace in east
London. Forest Research (in collaboration with other PUrE partners) have
developed a model to look at different scenarios for:

* The effects that varying amounts and types of vegetation (such as
trees and open grassland) have on the interception of PM[10]'s
(airborne pollutant particles less than 10 micrometres in diameter).
* The effects that varying rates of PM[10]'s have on human health.

However, we only conducted modelling for the interception of particulates
by trees and other vegetation based on simplistic scenarios.

This model has been developed from algorithms that have been previously
published in the scientific literature relevant to this subject area. Any
other data used have been provided by partner organisations, as in the
case of the ELGG data, provided by the Greater London Authority. I can
send you a copy of a recent scientific paper (An integrated tool to assess
the role of new planting in PM[10] capture and the human health benefits:
A case study in London, Tiwary et al, 2009) which describes this work,
including the type and sources of data used. Please use my e-mail address
([2][email address]) to send me your contact details so I
can send you a copy by post.

Yours faithfully,

Andy Brunt

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Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

This appears to be publicly funded research carried out by a number of UK public bodies.

Given that context it is surprising that a decision has been made to publish the results in a journal which charges for access to the information.

A PDF can be obtained (currently for $31.50) via:


I have written to the corresponding author asking about the rationale behind the decision not to publish in an open access journal.

In terms of the FOI Act, there is an exemption for information deemed reasonably accessible via other means. Section 21(2)a of the FOI act makes clear "information may be [considered] reasonably accessible to the applicant even though it is accessible only on payment.


Richard Taylor