TOPIC: Healthy and Low allergenicity green spaces for the cities of the future
Paloma Cariñanos is Professor of Botany at the University of Granada, Spain. She is also coordinator of FAO’s SilvaMediterranea WG on urban and periurban forestry since 2020, and Vice-President of the Spanish Association of Public Parks and Gardens (AEPJP). Paloma has a career as an Aerobiologist for more than 30 years, focusing her line of research on allergen emissions in urban environments and the interactions between bioaerosol and atmospheric pollutants.
She is an expert in identification, characterization and mitigation of the impact of allergenic species in urban forests, assessment of the ecosystem disservices provided by urban forests, and identification of the impacts of climate change on urban tree species. Among its main achievements are the development of an Allergenicity Index for urban green spaces that allows the estimation of the allergenic risk of these areas based on the species they contain, and the assignment of an Allergenic Potential Value to more than 1000 species of trees. frequently used in the main climatic regions of the world.
Emissions of allergenic pollen by some of the main species that make up urban green spaces constitute one of the main disservices of urban green infrastructure, with a great impact on the health of the population. Some of the causes that have generated this situation have been the massive use of a few plant species, the introduction of exotic species, botanical sexism or inadequate management and maintenance of these spaces, exacerbated by the impact that climate change is having on them. the reproductive phenology of some species. The allergenic characterization of the main species of urban trees and the estimation of the allergenic risk that these spaces may pose to the population are some useful tools for the planning and design of sustainable and healthy green spaces for the percentage of the population affected by adverse reactions to the presence of allergenic pollen.