This map is divided into two as the one on the left informs us that the Ozone-attributable asthma ER visits represent part of the health burden of ozone air pollution and the one on the right showcases Nitrogen oxides (NOx) which include nitric oxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These are a group of pollutants formed by combustion that can cause damage to lung tissue breathing and respiratory problems. Data is taken from Data Source: https://a816-dohbesp.nyc.gov/IndicatorPublic/VisualizationData.aspx?id=2028,719b87,122,Summarize
We wanted to see if community gardens had any effect in the area they’re situated in . What is extremely surprising is how ineffective community gardens are to the collected data. The Asthma graph zip codes 10447 and 10029 have the highest amount of ER cases but also a healthy amount of community gardens nearby. Could it be that community gardens increase asthma ER visits due to pollen? As this data is from 2015 – 2017, we can also infer that there are now more green vehicles that can reduce these numbers more than community gardens can.
Unfortunately, likewise for the Nitric oxide pollutants, community gardens do not seem to reduce these pollutants regardless of the amount of gardens nearby. For example zip code 11211 has ten community gardens nearby but the NO mean index is over 20 and that is pretty high. What could be interesting is figuring out why there is no change of NO nearby zip code 11211. Could it be that there are too many restaurants in the area that are causing this increase? Or perhaps the surrounding community gardens are used as meeting places instead of planting areas. On the bright side, there is a lower NO mean index in the upper Bronx which is known to have many community gardens . Maybe these particular community residents create produce instead of just using these gardens as a “meeting space”. Another thing that the maps do not show is other green spaces in the area like parks, private gardens etc. This is an important factor when considering the air quality as well.
It’s not just fruits and vegetables so much anymore. It’s a place where people can come and sit and relax. I mean, we get people from buying food at whole foods, coming here and sitting having their meals.
-Community Garden Member from Liz Christy Community Garden (East Village, Manhattan)