WIT Press

The Sustainable City And Air Pollution


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

1369 - 1380




1,612 kb


E. C. Rada


The present paper deals with the integrated approach typically adopted to improve the air quality in a European urbanized area. A case study is selected and analyzed in order to find out the viable criteria for the correct management of the problem, aimed at a sustainable city and the decrease of human health effects. The role of conventional and unconventional pollutants (e.g. PM10 and ultrafine particles) is discussed. The available measurement strategies are analyzed in order to point out the trend of the sector and the gap to be covered for guaranteeing a homogeneous protection of the territory (every citizen has the right to inhale air of the same quality). The importance of not limiting the analysis to the implementation of emission inventories is demonstrable through simple examples: indeed data of global balances can mislead decision makers; they must guarantee an acceptable human exposure that depends on the amount of pollutant that effectively reaches each inhabitant. Location criteria for urban planning are proposed to prevent unacceptable human exposure cases (e.g. kindergarten should not be authorized near an urban freeway; construction of street canyons should be avoided). Zooming out the urban area helps to demonstrate that the coordination among cities is compulsory. To this concern, the transport of air pollutants from region to region must be taken into account. Unconventional emerging solutions for improving the air quality in urban areas are presented and discussed in the paper together with cost-related viability aspects.


air quality, human exposure, NOx, PM, SO2, transport, urban planning