Newsletter No. 1 / July 2017

Welcome to the first iSCAPE Newsletter! The iSCAPE Newsletter will inform you about results and events of the EU research project iSCAPE. The aim is to keep all relevant actors interested in air quality in urban areas up to date with regard to the innovative potential of passive control systems and their social, economic and environmental impact as well as the reduction of CO2.

Table of contents

iSCAPE Research results – Assessment of urban air quality and climate change solutions

The first months of the iSCAPE project were mainly dedicated to a thorough and neutral assessment of existing and future challenges and opportunities for the cities with respect to air quality and climate change, and the role of infrastructural interventions to offer solutions to the corresponding challenges. The results are a strong foundation for the next steps: selecting, applying, assessing and evaluating the most attractive intervention measures to reduce impacts of air pollution and climate change for comprehensive experimental and modelling studies. Assessments are covered by the following reports:

Challenges and opportunities in the iSCAPE cities: putting the citizen at the heart of the project

This report outlines the non-technical challenges and opportunities for each of the six cities (Bologna, Bottrop, Dublin, Guiltford, Hasselt, Vantaa) involved in the iSCAPE project relating to air pollution and climate change. These have been based on a qualitative survey of 22 city stakeholders as well as learnings from a set of best practice case studies on air quality interventions and citizen engagement initiatives. Sixteen city challenges have been identified and split into three overarching ‘challenge areas’. These include ‘Urban Environment’, ‘Citizen Perception’ and ‘Government Policy’.

The full report is downloadable here.

Figure 1. The three challenge areas of air pollution and climate change in cities

Guidelines to promote passive methods for improving urban air quality in climate change scenarios

This report reviews and discusses the available passive control systems (Physical Passive Control Systems, Green infrastructure, Photocatalytic coatings, see Figure 2) as well as a spatial perspective for improving air quality produced guidelines that account for local settings, by considering the fundamental design of urban areas and the potential for low cost retrofits for some passive methods in existing areas in the built environment, as well as, to assesses also the potential of expected benefits from urban deployments.

Figure 2. Different examples of passive control systems

The full report will be available soon on the iSCAPE Resources page.

Report on climate change and air quality

This report aims to summarize current understanding of urban climate change, air quality studies and their interconnection. It provides a broad overview of challenges that are relevant for PCSs deployment to mitigate the impact of climate changes in future scenarios. It critically depicts the science basis for later numerical modelling and experimental studies within ISCAPE and provide suggestions for further research in the project. The full report will be available soon on the iSCAPE Resources page.

Summary of air quality sensors and recommendations for application

This report presented the state-of-the-art review of existing literature on low-cost sensors (costing less than 100$) that can be used for measuring common air pollutants such as particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and its precursor pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and nitric oxide (NO). The focus of this report was to enable the end-user (the iSCAPE project partners and the scientific community and policy makers in general) in taking informed decisions on the selection of low-cost sensors by striking a right balance between the sensor characteristics and the user requirements, as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Low-cost sensor selection for air pollution measurements – striking the right balance between sensor characteristics and user requirements.

The full report will be available soon on the iSCAPE Resources page.

iSCAPE established its six Living Labs on air pollution control in cities

Based on results of the Report on challenges and opportunities in iSCAPE cities the project established six Living Labs, working on different aspects of Air Pollution control systems in cities, integrated by several initiatives to involve and inform local citizens and to influence policies at many levels:

Journal articles

Valmassoia, A., Gharbiaa, S., Stibe, S., Di Sabatino, S., Pilla, F., 2017. Future Impacts of the Reforestation Policy on the atmospheric parameters: a sensitivity study over Ireland. Procedia Computer Science, Volume 109, Pages 367–375
Online link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2017.05.403
You can download a PDF of the article here.

Abhijith, K.V., Kumar, P., Gallagher, J., McNabola, A., Baldauf, R., Pilla, F., Broaderick, B., Di Sabatino, S., Pulvirenti, B., 2017. Air Pollution Abatement Performances of Green Infrastructure in Open Road and Built-up Street Canyon Environments – A Review. Atmospheric Environment, Volume 162, Pages 71–86
Online link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2017.05.014
You can download a PDF of the article here.