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The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Local Vehicular Traffic and Its Consequences for the Environment: The Case of the City of Reggio Emilia (Italy)

1
En&Tech Interdepartmental Center, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42124 Reggio Emilia, Italy
2
Department of Sciences and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010118
Received: 3 December 2020 / Revised: 21 December 2020 / Accepted: 22 December 2020 / Published: 24 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 8th World Sustainability Forum—Selected Papers)
The COVID-19 health emergency has imposed the need to limit and/or stop non-essential economic and commercial activities and movement of people. The objective of this work is to report an assessment of the change in vehicle flows and in air quality of a specific study area in the north of Italy, comparing the periods February–May 2020 and February–May 2019. Circulating vehicles have been measured at nine characteristic points of the local road network of the city of Reggio Emilia (Italy), while atmospheric pollutant concentrations have been analysed using data extracted from the regional air quality monitoring network. The results highlight a rapid decline in the number of vehicles circulating in 2020 (with values of up to −82%). This has contributed to a reduction in air concentrations of pollutants, in particular for NO2 and CO (over 30% and over 22%, respectively). On the other hand, O3 has increased (by about +13%), but this is expected. Finally, the particulate matter grew (about 30%), with a behaviour similar to the whole regional territory. The empirical findings of this study provide some indications and useful information to assist in understanding the effects of traffic blocking in urban areas on air quality. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; vehicular traffic; air quality; lockdown effects; air pollutants trend COVID-19; vehicular traffic; air quality; lockdown effects; air pollutants trend
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marinello, S.; Lolli, F.; Gamberini, R. The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Local Vehicular Traffic and Its Consequences for the Environment: The Case of the City of Reggio Emilia (Italy). Sustainability 2021, 13, 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010118

AMA Style

Marinello S, Lolli F, Gamberini R. The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Local Vehicular Traffic and Its Consequences for the Environment: The Case of the City of Reggio Emilia (Italy). Sustainability. 2021; 13(1):118. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010118

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marinello, Samuele, Francesco Lolli, and Rita Gamberini. 2021. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Emergency on Local Vehicular Traffic and Its Consequences for the Environment: The Case of the City of Reggio Emilia (Italy)" Sustainability 13, no. 1: 118. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010118

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