University College Dublin logo
Dr Tine Ningal


Tine Ningal

Senior Technical Officer
School of Geography
01 716 8103
University College Dublin, School of Geography, Newman Building Belfield Dublin 4


My main research interest is on assessing the environmental roles of trees, particularly the ability of trees in sequestering carbon dioxide (CO2) in urban environments for air quality. In this context, the improvement of the broader urban environmental quality within the Inner City Dublin. An inventory was carried out in Dublin City Centre to gather data on trees within the Royal and Grand Canals. Over 10,000 trees were recorded from Remote Sensing satellite imageries using Geographic Information systems (GIS) technology and over 2,500 street trees were registered through fieldwork, where roadside trees were systematically documented and photographed. This is a novel approach to create a unique GIS database on Dublin's urban trees which, planners, policy makers, geographers, architects, researchers and other interested stakeholders can use to support their decisions or analyses. The carbon content of street trees was converted to CO2 (sequestered from the atmosphere) and was related to CO2 emission from traffic. The results showed that the sequestration potential of street trees in Inner City Dublin is insufficient ( see results on my blog) and require other measures such as planting more trees, regulating traffic, improving technology or employing a number of alternative options. However, urban trees provide a number of important social, environmental/ecological and economic benefits and services. Trees must be incorporated into decision making and planning processes for the development of cities such as Dublin and for climate change policies towards a greener, healthier and sustainable urban environments. The first step before incorporating trees in decision making is a comprehensive tree inventory to know the content and value of the tree resources within the area of interest - Dublin City Centre, to justify funding support and maintenance among others. My initial research agenda was on assessing urban air quality. The shift to undertake an inventory and create Dublin's first urban trees GIS database was motivated by a lack of data on Dublin's urban trees. My initial research on urban air quality, however, has generated a number of useful datasets such as urban morphology, traffic, air quality, meteorology and land use. Related sub domains such as urban heat island, solar access (daylight availability and urban thermal comfort), energy use and water balance are also of interest in my overall research scheme. GIS is the main technology used in collating, storing, retrieving, processing, analyzing and presenting results in this research. Other associated packages include remote sensing applications such as Erdas Imagine, eCognition and Envi. Statistical applications used were MS Office Excel and SPSS. Other related applications include Google SketchUp, Matlab and Solweig. My main research interest remains in the application of tools and technologies (GIS, GPS, remote sensing, drones, database management, ICT-Internet etc.) to manage the built and natural environments to improve quality of life and satisfaction levels of the affected inhabitants. This translates to reducing the sources of pollution, aiming at improving quality of life in urban areas.