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Article

Adopting a Whole Systems Approach to Transport Decarbonisation, Air Quality and Health: An Online Participatory Systems Mapping Case Study in the UK

1
Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus, Centre for Research in Social Simulation, Department of Sociology, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK
2
Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
3
National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, UK
4
UCL Energy Institute, 14 Upper Woburn Place, University College London, London WC1H 0NN, UK
5
Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston B15 2TT, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Salah Khardi and Nathalie Bernoud-Hubac
Atmosphere 2022, 13(3), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13030492
Received: 29 January 2022 / Revised: 4 March 2022 / Accepted: 15 March 2022 / Published: 18 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Transport Systems on Air Pollution and Human Health)
In a drive to achieve net zero emissions, U.K. transport decarbonisation policies are predominantly focussed on measures to promote the uptake and use of electric vehicles (EVs). This is reflected in the COP26 Transport Declaration signed by 38 national governments, alongside city region governments, vehicle manufacturers and investors. However, emerging evidence suggests that EVs present multiple challenges for air quality, mobility and health, including risks from non-exhaust emissions (NEEs) and increasing reliance on vehicles for short trips. Understanding the interconnected links between electric mobility, human health and the environment, including synergies and trade-offs, requires a whole systems approach to transport policymaking. In the present paper, we describe the use of Participatory Systems Mapping (PSM) in which a diverse group of stakeholders collaboratively constructed a causal model of the U.K. surface transport system through a series of interactive online workshops. We present the map and its analysis, with our findings illustrating how unintended consequences of EV-focussed transport policies may have an impact on air quality, human health and important social functions of the transport system. We conclude by considering how online participatory causal modelling techniques could be effectively integrated with empirical metrics to facilitate effective policy design and appraisal in the transport sector. View Full-Text
Keywords: participatory systems mapping; decarbonisation; air quality; public health; electric vehicle; road transport; public transport; mobility equity; non-exhaust emissions; net zero participatory systems mapping; decarbonisation; air quality; public health; electric vehicle; road transport; public transport; mobility equity; non-exhaust emissions; net zero
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MDPI and ACS Style

Penn, A.S.; Bartington, S.E.; Moller, S.J.; Hamilton, I.; Levine, J.G.; Hatcher, K.; Gilbert, N. Adopting a Whole Systems Approach to Transport Decarbonisation, Air Quality and Health: An Online Participatory Systems Mapping Case Study in the UK. Atmosphere 2022, 13, 492. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13030492

AMA Style

Penn AS, Bartington SE, Moller SJ, Hamilton I, Levine JG, Hatcher K, Gilbert N. Adopting a Whole Systems Approach to Transport Decarbonisation, Air Quality and Health: An Online Participatory Systems Mapping Case Study in the UK. Atmosphere. 2022; 13(3):492. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13030492

Chicago/Turabian Style

Penn, Alexandra S., Suzanne E. Bartington, Sarah J. Moller, Ian Hamilton, James G. Levine, Kirstie Hatcher, and Nigel Gilbert. 2022. "Adopting a Whole Systems Approach to Transport Decarbonisation, Air Quality and Health: An Online Participatory Systems Mapping Case Study in the UK" Atmosphere 13, no. 3: 492. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos13030492

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