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A Clean Air Plan for Sydney: An Overview of the Special Issue on Air Quality in New South Wales

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Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
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Climate and Energy College, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia
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Climate Science Centre, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia
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School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW 2308, Australia
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Environmental Health Branch, Health Protection NSW, Sydney, NSW 2050, Australia
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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Lucas Heights, NSW 2234, Australia
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New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Lidcombe, Sydney, NSW 2141, Australia
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South West Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales & Ingham Institute of Medical Research, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia
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Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2037, Australia
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Centre for Air Pollution, Energy and Health Research, Glebe, Sydney, NSW 2037, Australia
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SMART Infrastructure Facility, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
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School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia, Curtin, WA 6907, Australia
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Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research, University of New South Wales, Liverpool, NSW 2170, Australia
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School of Public Health, Faculty Medicine and Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Department of Basic Research in Horticulture, Institute of Horticultural Sciences, Faculty of Horticulture and Biotechnology, Warsaw University of Life Sciences—SGGW, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
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Environment Protection Authority, Victoria, Melbourne, VIC 3001, Australia
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Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(12), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10120774
Received: 26 October 2019 / Revised: 17 November 2019 / Accepted: 18 November 2019 / Published: 4 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Quality in New South Wales, Australia)
This paper presents a summary of the key findings of the special issue of Atmosphere on Air Quality in New South Wales and discusses the implications of the work for policy makers and individuals. This special edition presents new air quality research in Australia undertaken by (or in association with) the Clean Air and Urban Landscapes hub, which is funded by the National Environmental Science Program on behalf of the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Energy. Air pollution in Australian cities is generally low, with typical concentrations of key pollutants at much lower levels than experienced in comparable cities in many other parts of the world. Australian cities do experience occasional exceedances in ozone and PM2.5 (above air pollution guidelines), as well as extreme pollution events, often as a result of bushfires, dust storms, or heatwaves. Even in the absence of extreme events, natural emissions play a significant role in influencing the Australian urban environment, due to the remoteness from large regional anthropogenic emission sources. By studying air quality in Australia, we can gain a greater understanding of the underlying atmospheric chemistry and health risks in less polluted atmospheric environments, and the health benefits of continued reduction in air pollution. These conditions may be representative of future air quality scenarios for parts of the Northern Hemisphere, as legislation and cleaner technologies reduce anthropogenic air pollution in European, American, and Asian cities. However, in many instances, current legislation regarding emissions in Australia is significantly more lax than in other developed countries, making Australia vulnerable to worsening air pollution in association with future population growth. The need to avoid complacency is highlighted by recent epidemiological research, reporting associations between air pollution and adverse health outcomes even at air pollutant concentrations that are lower than Australia’s national air quality standards. Improving air quality is expected to improve health outcomes at any pollution level, with specific benefits projected for reductions in long-term exposure to average PM2.5 concentrations. View Full-Text
Keywords: air quality; New South Wales; traffic; smoke; urban greening air quality; New South Wales; traffic; smoke; urban greening
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Paton-Walsh, C.; Rayner, P.; Simmons, J.; Fiddes, S.L.; Schofield, R.; Bridgman, H.; Beaupark, S.; Broome, R.; Chambers, S.D.; Chang, L. .-C.; Cope, M.; Cowie, C.T.; Desservettaz, M.; Dominick, D.; Emmerson, K.; Forehead, H.; Galbally, I.E.; Griffiths, A.; Guérette, É.-A.; Haynes, A.; Heyworth, J.; Jalaludin, B.; Kan, R.; Keywood, M.; Monk, K.; Morgan, G.G.; Nguyen Duc, H.; Phillips, F.; Popek, R.; Scorgie, Y.; Silver, J.D.; Utembe, S.; Wadlow, I.; Wilson, S.R.; Zhang, Y. A Clean Air Plan for Sydney: An Overview of the Special Issue on Air Quality in New South Wales. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 774.

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