Modelling Urban Air Pollution Hot Spots

Modelling Urban Traffic Air Pollution Dispersion (The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences. Vol. XXXVII. Part B8. Beijing 2008)

The article being reviewed today addresses the need for local authorities to know the distribution of urban air pollution both in the horizontal, as reported in Ottawa Air Quality Information System and in the vertical. The result is a system which authorities can use to identify the extent of hot spots and potential health threats along roadways, as well as vertically in buildings along the road.

Key Quotes:

“The prime aim of this research is to support decision making, e.g., air quality impact analysis, human health assessment, through spatially modelling traffic-induced air pollution dispersion in urban areas at street level. “

“composed of basically three parts: an urban base data model, a dispersion model with a spatial database and a 3D GIS environment for visualisation. “

“local authorities are facing the challenge of being responsible for effective counter measures if limit values of air pollution are exceeded.. need ‘high-resolution’ information on air pollution levels that give not only the pollution levels for few measurement stations within a city (macro-level) but also pollution levels for the individual streets (micro-level). “

“Providing information about traffic air pollution and finding out its distribution is therefore a crucial starting point for planning effective measures to improve air quality…The location of hot spots of high pollution levels that exceed a certain threshold has besides a horizontal also a vertical dimension; the latter is usually neglected. ”

“a warning line that represents where pollution limit value is exceeded can be used to calculate the number of floors affected as well as allow an estimation of the number of influenced inhabitants. “

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