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Contribution to Book
Impact of urban planning alternatives on air quality: URBAIR model application.
Air Pollution XIX. Wessex Institute of Technology (2011)
  • C. Borrego, University of Aveiro
  • P. Cascão, University of Aveiro
  • M. Lopes, University of Aveiro
  • J. H. Amorim, University of Aveiro
  • R. Tavares, University of Aveiro
  • V. Rodrigues, University of Aveiro
  • J. Martins, University of Aveiro
  • A. I. Miranda, University of Aveiro
  • N. Chrysoulakis
Abstract
In the last decades, the study of the urban structure impacts on the quality of life and on the environment became a key issue for urban sustainability. Nowadays the relevance of urban planning for the improvement of the interactions between different land uses and economic activities, and also towards a more sustainable urban metabolism, is consensually accepted. A major interest relies on understanding the role of planning on induced mobility patterns and thereafter on air quality, particularly related with the increasing use of private cars. This is one of the main objectives of BRIDGE, a research project funding by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme and focused on “SustainaBle uRban plannIng Decision support accountinG for urban mEtabolism”. In this scope, and to evaluate the impact on air quality due to different city planning alternatives (PA), the urban scale air quality modelling system URBAIR was applied to selected areas in Helsinki (Finland), Athens (Greece) and Gliwice (Poland), to estimate traffic related emissions and induced pollutant concentration of different air pollutants, in a hourly basis for the entire year of 2008. For the Helsinki study case the results suggest that urban traffic and building placement considered on the different PA have an influence on local air quality despite no significant concentration levels. In the Athens case study some PA induce a decrease on traffic flows with an improvement of the air quality over the domain. On the contrary, other leads to an increase of PM10 in selected hotspots. The simulations for the Gliwice study case show minor changes between the baseline and the PA, since the proposed interventions do not imply major changes in traffic flows. URBAIR applications allowed a comparative analysis between current situation and predefined PA in terms of the number of exceedances to air quality thresholds and other parameters established in European legislation. The results provide important information to urban planners and policy makers to choose the best PA according to quality of life standards pursuit by the local authorities.
Keywords
  • sustainability,
  • urban planning,
  • air quality modelling,
  • traffic emissions,
  • integrated air quality system,
  • decision support system
Publication Date
2011
Editor
Brebbia C. A.
Publisher
UK and J.W.S. LONGHURST, University of the West of England
Citation Information
Borrego, C., Cascão, P., Lopes, M., Amorim, J. H., Tavares, R., Rodrigues, V., Martins, J., Miranda, A. I. and Chrysoulakis, N., 2011. Impact of urban planning alternatives on air quality: URBAIR model application. In: Brebbia C. A. (ed): Air Pollution XIX. Wessex Institute of Technology, UK and J.W.S. LONGHURST, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom.