The main objective of this research is to study and analyze initiatives and actions carried out and developed in New York City to help improve environmental conditions in cities and better understand the environmental impact of dense urban areas; it considers especially bottom-up approaches, providing insight for the improvement of European environmental policies as well. In order to identify causes, risks, and social and public health consequences, an overview of the main environmental and ecological imbalances in dense urban areas is provided, considering especially the UHI phenomenon, air and water quality, stormwater management, and urban ecosystems. The research takes into account the main strategies useful for acting on effects and causes of these environmental and ecological problems, and the scale at which these can be implemented (neighborhood, city, building). Vegetation can play a fundamental role, and therefore the positive effects of green infrastructure, along with definitions and examples, are evaluated.
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