Title: Evaluating the impact of “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans” on urban background air quality
Authors: PISONI ENRICOCHRISTIDIS PANAYOTISTHUNIS PHILIPPETROMBETTI MARCO
Citation: JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT vol. 231 p. 249-255
Publisher: ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC112933
ISSN: 0301-4797 (online)
URI: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479718311733?via%3Dihub
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC112933
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.10.039
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Air quality in European cities is still a challenge, with various urban areas frequently exceeding the PM2.5 and NO2 concentration levels allowed by the European Union Air Quality Standards. This is a problem both in terms of legislation compliance, but also in terms of health of citizens, as it has been recently estimated that 400 to 450 thousand people die prematurely every year due to poor air quality. Air quality in cities can be improved with a number of interventions, at different sectoral (industry, traffic, residential, etc …) and geographical (international, European, national, local, etc.) levels. In this paper we explore the potential of city level plans to improve mobility and air quality (excluding electro-mobility options, not considered in this study). We applied the “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans” (SUMPs) framework to 642 cities in Europe and modelled how the measures they include may impact at first on mobility and emissions at urban level, and then on urban background concentrations of PM2.5 and NO2. Results show that annual averages moderately improve for both pollutants, with reductions of urban background concentrations up to 2% for PM2.5 and close to 4% for NO2. The impact on NO2 at street level (that will be higher than on urban background) is not evaluated in this work. The air quality improvement of the simulated SUMP would only partially alleviate air quality problems in urban areas, but such a reduction in the emissions of air pollutants should still be considered as a positive result of SUMPs, given that they correspond to a set of low-cost measures that can be implemented at local level. Furthermore, the introduction of electro-mobility options (not considered here) would increase the impact on air quality. Other types of benefits, such as reduced fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, higher impact at street level or accident rates reduction further add to the overall positive impact.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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