Role of vehicular emissions in urban air quality: The COVID-19 lockdown experiment

Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Elie Bou-Zeid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While the decrease in air pollutant concentration during the COVID-19 lockdown is well documented, neighborhood-scale and multi-city data have not yet been explored systematically to derive a generalizable quantitative link to the drop in vehicular traffic. To bridge this gap, high spatial resolution air quality and georeferenced traffic datasets were compiled for the city of London during three weeks with significant differences in traffic. The London analysis was then augmented with a meta-analysis of lower-resolution studies from 12 other cities. The results confirm that the improvement in air quality can be partially attributed to the drop of traffic density, and more importantly quantifies the elasticity (0.71 for NO2 & 0.56 for PM2.5) of their linkages. The findings can also inform on the future impacts of the ongoing shift to electric vehicles and micro-mobility on urban air quality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103580
JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
Volume115
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

Keywords

  • COVID-19 Lockdown
  • Emerging Mobility
  • Urban Air Pollution
  • Urban Vehicular Emissions
  • Vehicle Electrification

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