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Investigating Contaminant Accumulation in Landscapes Adjacent to Highways

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Recording from live webinar on 3/23/22

Investigating Contaminant Accumulation in Landscapes Adjacent to Highways

As urban populations grow, underutilized spaces near highways have increasingly become sites for public parks and activation. Yet major roadways are primary sources of traffic-related air pollution, and there are few regulations and little guidance about how to design and maintain adjacent landscapes to reduce negative health impacts.

The first LAF Research Grant in Honor of Deb Mitchell was awarded to “Greenscapes to Brownscapes: A Study on Impacts to Contaminant Levels in Landscapes Adjacent to Highways,” an 18-month pilot study that adds to the limited existing research on how a new site accumulates contaminants. 

In this webinar, the Principal Investigators shared their findings from test plots along the I-95 corridor in Philadelphia where they monitored air quality and conducted soil and swab testing to assess pollutant accumulation. Working with an advisory group of designers, scientists, and policy makers, the research team compiled and synthesized information to develop takeaways and recommendations for further research that can inform the development of landscapes near highways, including design responses, programmatic recommendations, and maintenance schedules to reduce exposure to near-road pollution.



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Learning Objectives

  1. Understand types and sources of near-road pollution and associated health impacts.
  2. Hear findings from the pilot study on pollutant accumulation over time in test plots along I-95.
  3. Examine design, programmatic, and maintenance strategies that can reduce exposure to near-road pollution.


Continuing Education Credits

Logo of the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES)

This course is approved for 1.0 Professional Development Hour (PDH) through the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) and meets the health, safety and welfare requirements (HSW). To earn 1.0 PDH (LA CES/HSW):

  1. View the full webinar above.
  2. Complete the short quiz by following the link below. (You must score 75% or higher.)
  3. Wait ~2 weeks to receive your confirmation email once the quizzes are graded and results submitted to LA CES.

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Presenters / Principal Investigators

Allison Harvey, ASLA, Principal, OJB Landscape Architecture

Andrew Adams, Director of Sales and Marketing, IKON Environmental Solutions (formerly of Braun Intertec)

LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.