A new study shows that Exeter, Islington and Bristol are the three greenest urban areas in Britain.
But while the Exonians enjoy plenty of glamorous leaves when they get out, the same can’t be said for the residents of Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool.
That’s because the same study placed these northern cities at the bottom of a list of 68 municipalities ranked by their green characteristics.
It was compiled by researchers at the University of Sheffield, who also found that more disadvantaged urban areas tend to be less green.
“This work can help inform the efforts of local authorities and urban planners to promote greener city centers in an equitable manner,” said lead author Dr Jake Robinson.
A new study shows that Exeter, Islington and Bristol are the three greenest urban areas in Britain. However, Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool are at the bottom of the list of 68 municipalities ranked by their green attributes
Topping the list was Exeter, which has nearly 400 hectares of green space, according to Exeter County Council, and tree cover at 11.67 per cent. Pictured: Powderham Park in Exeter
The five least green urban areas are all former industrial areas in the north of the United Kingdom. Pictured: Glasgow, Scotland
Previous studies have linked green spaces to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease, improved lung function, and improved mental health.
A study from the University of Exeter this year found it worth £25.6 billion a year to the health and well-being of citizens in England and Wales.
Not surprisingly, more trees, plants, and gardens also benefit the environment, with studies claiming that “rebuilding” more areas will improve biodiversity.
For the study, published today in PLOS ONE, the researchers wanted to assess the “greenness” of urban areas in Great Britain that are home to at least 100,000 people.
They claim that similar work has only been done for suburban areas, and that people of different socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to mix in urban centers through work, shopping, and other activities.
Their goal was to highlight any geographic imbalances in green infrastructure and wildlife-supporting habitats, and therefore their benefits as well.
Urban centers in descending order of the Combined Green Characteristic Arrangement (PCA). The chart also highlights the five best ranked urban centers (in blue), the five lowest ranked urban centers (in red), and individual green trait rankings. OSGS = Ordnance Survey Green Space
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- Trieste (Italy)
- Turin (Italy)
- Blackpool (United Kingdom)
- Gijon (Spain)
- Brussels, Belgium)
- Le Havre (France)
- Szombathely (Hungary)
- Boulogne-sur-Mer (France)
- Copenhagen, Denmark)
- A Coruña (Spain)
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For their work, the researchers analyzed three metrics: tree cover, the presence of green spaces such as parks and sports fields, and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).
The latter is an indicator of the presence of live green vegetation in an area, measured using satellite observations of light reflection and absorption.
They combined these metrics into a single score, and ranked 68 municipalities according to them.
Topping the list was Exeter, which has nearly 400 hectares of green space, according to Exeter County Council, and tree cover at 11.67 per cent.
Ordnance Survey (OS) Open Greenspace data shows that it also has a green space coverage of 0.05 percent.
The rest of the top five make up Islington, Bristol, Bournemouth and Cambridge – all regions in the south of England.
The region with the least amount of green space is Glasgow, which has only 1.95 percent tree cover and 0.00 percent green space coverage for os.
Joining the Scottish city in the five regions at the bottom of the list are Middlesbrough, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds.
The authors note that these are all former industrial areas in the north of England.
“Other reports show a north-south divide in tree abundance in the broader landscape combined with large disparities in socioeconomic and health status,” they wrote.
The more populated an urban center, the lower the NDVI score and tree coverage tends to be. Pictured: scatter plots associated with population size and average NDVI index for urban centers (left) and population size and tree coverage (right)
The rest of the top five urban centers are Islington, Bristol, Bournemouth and Cambridge – all regions in the south of England. Pictured: Bristol, England
The researchers also found a “weak to moderate” negative association between the amount of green space and the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).
IMD is a score published by the Office for National Statistics that ranks the relative poverty level of regions.
It takes into account metrics related to health, education, income, employment and crime risk, thus highlighting their association with lower green resources.
Dr Robinson said: ‘It is not surprising that urban centers with high tree and vegetation cover, and public green spaces including parks and sports fields, have developed after more emphasis on urban planning rather than urban expansion and industrial growth, and now have lower levels of deprivation. . In general, including measures of human health.
The researchers also found a ‘weak to moderate’ negative association between the amount of green space and the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) in s: correlation scatter plot of mean IMD rank and pooled green trait scores (PCA) for English urban centres.
In addition, the study revealed that the more populated an area, the lower the NDVI score and tree coverage.
This trend is worrying because publicly available green spaces are important to human health and well-being.
Furthermore, as population increases, there will likely be more pressure on biodiversity through reduced available habitats and increased pollution.
The authors write: ‘This is significant because it indicates that resources to promote health and support biodiversity diminish with increasing population and deprivation.
Disparities in green infrastructure across the country, along with population and trends associated with deprivation, are important in terms of socioeconomic equity and equity.
They hope their findings will help local authorities and urban planners reduce inequalities in urban greening.
Britain’s treasure: Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire are among the top 10 counties for buried treasures.
Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincolnshire are among the 10 counties most likely to find buried treasure, according to a study of all finds since 2012.
It reveals that there are 8,775 pieces of buried treasure discovered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland over the past decade.
Using UK government data on portable treasures and artifacts, the analysis shows Norfolk has the highest number of finds at 917.
However, people on the Isle of Wight are more likely to come into contact with treasure – an average of 129 finds per 100,000 people.
One of the main treasures discovered in Norfolk was a set of gold necklace and pendants worth £145,000 found by a student in an Anglo-Saxon grave.
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Norfolk had the highest number of treasure finds between 2012 and 2019, according to new research.