ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF LAND USE CHANGES ON AIR POLLUTION REMOVAL CAPACITY: A THREE-DECADE ANALYSIS APPLYING THE I-TREE ECO MODEL
Keywords:Air Pollution, Land Use Changes, Pollutant Removal Capacity, Urban Vegetation
Urban vegetation is a greenery and plant found within urban areas. It encompasses a diverse range of flora, including trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, and other forms of vegetation that thrive amidst the concrete and infrastructure of urban environments. But urban growth continuously removes this and causes atmospheric pollution in third world countries like Pakistan. Therefore, being the most rapidly growing city in Pakistan, Lahore was selected as a study area to analyze the air pollution removal capacity from 1990 to 2020. For this, Landsat images of 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020 were used by applying the I-Tree Eco Model and found that the study area lost 2934.06 tons in pollutants removal capacity from 1990 to 2020 at 94.65 tons/year. Therefore, it is suggested that urban vegetation should be preserved and maintained as a primary pillar of urban society. As cities continue to grow and urbanization intensifies, there is a time to understand the significance of urban vegetation becomes increasingly critical.