Special Issue "Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health"

A special issue of Climate (ISSN 2225-1154).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Sotiris Vardoulakis

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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Interests: air pollution; climate change; environmental exposure assessment; health impact assessment; public health; urban health; sustainable development
Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Jennifer Salmond

School of Environment, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Website | E-Mail
Interests: urban air pollution meteorology; urban climatology; novel technologies and instrumentation for exposure measurement; urban climate risk; urban design
Guest Editor
Prof. Clive Sabel

Aarhus University, Department of Environmental Sciences, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Interests: spatial epidemiology; climate change; exposure assessment; wellbeing; social media; spatial methods

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban air pollution has a major impact on public health in cities around the world. Global climate change, changes in the built environment and demographic aging modify the patterns of exposure to environmental hazards and in cases intensify their health effects.

There is increasing recognition that air pollution and climate change need to be tackled together, particularly in cities. Urban structures, materials, vegetation, and traffic modify climatic conditions, creating strong spatial gradients of air pollution, noise and heat, which may exacerbate health risks and inequalities if not managed properly. The interaction between the outdoor and indoor environment can also influence exposure patterns and related health impacts. Effective urban growth and regeneration is required to improve public health, through the creation of more sustainable, walkable, less polluted and less noisy spaces.

"This Special Issue, edited by the Healthy-Polis International Consortium for Urban Environmental Health and Sustainability (www.healthy-polis.org), aims to explore the complex interactions between urban climate, air pollution and public health in cities around the world. Contributions of original and review papers that integrate different methodological approaches are particularly invited. For this special issue the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Health risks of traffic related air pollution and noise
  • Active travel, air pollution exposure and health co-benefits
  • Health impact assessment of urban interventions
  • Co-exposure to urban air pollution, noise and heat
  • Urban Heat Islands—health effects and mitigation
  • Urban green and blue spaces
  • Indoor air quality, ventilation and building overheating
  • Climate change adaptation and sustainable development of urban areas

Prof. Sotiris Vardoulakis
Assoc. Prof. Jennifer Salmond
Prof. Clive Sabel
Guest Editors

text

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Climate is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • air quality
  • air pollution
  • urban climate
  • climate change adaptation
  • climate change mitigation
  • urban heat islands
  • environmental health
  • urban health
  • sustainable urban development

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Towards the Integrated Study of Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health
Climate 2018, 6(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli6010014
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 24 February 2018 / Accepted: 25 February 2018 / Published: 26 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (173 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Globally, cities are growing at an unprecedented pace, putting pressure on space, existing infrastructure, and resources.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle The Challenge of Urban Heat Exposure under Climate Change: An Analysis of Cities in the Sustainable Healthy Urban Environments (SHUE) Database
Climate 2017, 5(4), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5040093
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 31 October 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (4907 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The so far largely unabated emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are expected to increase global temperatures substantially over this century. We quantify the patterns of increases for 246 globally-representative cities in the Sustainable Healthy Urban Environments (SHUE) database. We used an ensemble of
[...] Read more.
The so far largely unabated emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) are expected to increase global temperatures substantially over this century. We quantify the patterns of increases for 246 globally-representative cities in the Sustainable Healthy Urban Environments (SHUE) database. We used an ensemble of 18 global climate models (GCMs) run under a low (RCP2.6) and high (RCP8.5) emissions scenario to estimate the increase in monthly mean temperatures by 2050 and 2100 based on 30-year averages. Model simulations were from the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5). Annual mean temperature increases were 0.93 degrees Celsius by 2050 and 1.10 degrees Celsius by 2100 under RCP2.6, and 1.27 and 4.15 degrees Celsius under RCP8.5, but with substantial city-to-city variation. By 2100, under RCP2.6 no city exceeds an increase in Tmean > 2 degrees Celsius (relative to a 2017 baseline), while all do under RCP8.5, some with increases in Tmean close to, or even greater than, 7 degrees Celsius. The increases were greatest in cities of mid to high latitude, in humid temperate and dry climate regions, and with large seasonal variation in temperature. Cities are likely to experience large increases in hottest month mean temperatures under high GHG emissions trajectories, which will often present substantial challenges to adaptation and health protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle A Statistical Analysis of the Relationship between Brown Haze and Surface Air Pollution Levels on Respiratory Hospital Admissions in Auckland, New Zealand
Climate 2017, 5(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5040086
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 19 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2716 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Eleven years of hospital admissions data for Auckland, New Zealand for respiratory conditions are analyzed using a Poisson regression modelling approach, incorporating a spline function to represent time, based on a detailed record of haze events and surface air pollution levels over an
[...] Read more.
Eleven years of hospital admissions data for Auckland, New Zealand for respiratory conditions are analyzed using a Poisson regression modelling approach, incorporating a spline function to represent time, based on a detailed record of haze events and surface air pollution levels over an eleven-year period, taking into account the daily average temperature and humidity, the day of the week, holidays and trends over time. NO2 was the only pollutant to show a statistically significant increase (p = 0.009) on the day of the haze event for the general population. Ambient concentrations of CO, NO and NO2 were significantly associated with admissions with an 11-day lag period for the 0–14 year age group and a 5–7 day lag period for the 65+ year age group. A 3-day lag period was found for the 15–64 year age group for CO, NO and PM10. Finally, the incidence of brown haze was linked to significant increases in hospital admissions. A lag period of 5 days was recorded between haze and subsequent increases in admissions for the 0–14 year age group and the 65+ group and an 11-day lag for the 15–64 year age group. The results provide the first statistical link between Auckland brown haze events, surface air pollution and respiratory health. Medical institutions and practitioners could benefit from improved capacity to predict Auckland’s brown haze events in order prepare for the likely increases in respiratory admissions over the days ahead. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Air Pollution and Human Health in Kolkata, India: A Case Study
Climate 2017, 5(4), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5040077
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 22 September 2017 / Published: 12 October 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1991 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban air quality in most megacities has been found to be critical and Kolkata Metropolitan City is no exception to this. An analysis of ambient air quality in Kolkata was done by applying the Exceedance Factor (EF) method, where the presence of listed
[...] Read more.
Urban air quality in most megacities has been found to be critical and Kolkata Metropolitan City is no exception to this. An analysis of ambient air quality in Kolkata was done by applying the Exceedance Factor (EF) method, where the presence of listed pollutants’ (RPM, SPM, NO2, and SO2) annual average concentration are classified into four different categories; namely critical, high, moderate, and low pollution. Out of a total of 17 ambient air quality monitoring stations operating in Kolkata, five fall under the critical category, and the remaining 12 locations fall under the high category of NO2 concentration, while for RPM, four record critical, and 13 come under the high pollution category. The causes towards the high concentration of pollutants in the form of NO2 and RPM have been identified in earlier studies as vehicular emission (51.4%), followed by industrial sources (24.5%) and dust particles (21.1%). Later, a health assessment was undertaken with a structured questionnaire at some nearby dispensaries which fall under areas with different ambient air pollution levels. Three dispensaries have been surveyed with 100 participants. It shows that respondents with respiratory diseases (85.1%) have outnumbered waterborne diseases (14.9%) and include acute respiratory infections (ARI) (60%), chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) (7.8%), upper track respiratory infection (UTRI) (1.2%), Influenza (12.7%), and acid fast bacillus (AFB) (3.4%). Although the pollution level has been recorded as critical, only 39.3% of the respondents have felt that outdoor (air) pollution has affected their health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Exposure-Mortality Relationship for Residential Indoor PM2.5 Exposure from Outdoor Sources
Climate 2017, 5(3), 66; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030066
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1557 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A large proportion of particulate air pollution exposure in urban areas occurs due to the penetration of outdoor pollution into the residential indoor environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that quantifying health effects due to changes to indoor particulate concentrations derived from outdoor sources requires
[...] Read more.
A large proportion of particulate air pollution exposure in urban areas occurs due to the penetration of outdoor pollution into the residential indoor environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that quantifying health effects due to changes to indoor particulate concentrations derived from outdoor sources requires the adjustment of exposure-response coefficients based on epidemiological studies of outdoor air. Using the PM2.5-mortality coefficient from the American Cancer Society (ACS) cohort study as an example, we developed a theoretical model to quantify the relationship between the published coefficient and one based on personal exposure, and explored how this adjusted coefficient might be applied to changes in indoor PM2.5 from outdoor sources. Using a probabilistic approach, our estimated average mortality coefficient for personal PM2.5 exposure is 30–50% greater than the ACS coefficient. However, since the indoor PM2.5 of outdoor origin accounts for only a proportion of the overall exposure, the average net adjustment required for indoor exposure is very modest. The results suggest that it is generally appropriate to apply unadjusted exposure-response functions derived from cohort studies to assess the health impact of changes in indoor particle concentrations from outdoor sources. However, it may be important to re-scale the coefficients for assessing exposures of population groups who spend a greater proportion of their time at home. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Assessing the Value of Systematic Cycling in a Polluted Urban Environment
Climate 2017, 5(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030065
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2906 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The positive health effects of systematic cycling are weighted against the negative effects due to higher pollutant inhalation in the actual case of the city of Milan in northern Italy. The paper first evaluates the actual use of bikes in the city, and
[...] Read more.
The positive health effects of systematic cycling are weighted against the negative effects due to higher pollutant inhalation in the actual case of the city of Milan in northern Italy. The paper first evaluates the actual use of bikes in the city, and then considers why and how much such an active mobility style can be expanded. Two models are used to compare the outcome of cycling on the specific population sample with the equivalent path travelled by car. The first model computes the long term effects of the physical activity, and the second evaluates the exacerbation of some relevant diseases due to the exposure to high levels of pollutants, in the case at hand, mainly particulate matter with diameter smaller than 10 μm (PM10). According to these two models, the overall balance for public health is always in favour of systematic biking. Even the current level of biking, low in comparison to other European cities, allows a considerable economic advantage on the order of tens of millions euros per year. This may increase to hundreds of millions if the biking level of more bike-friendly cities is reached. Despite being much less relevant from the economic viewpoint, the study also estimates the reduction of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions corresponding to the assumed biking levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Collaborative Health Impact Assessment and Policy Development to Improve Air Quality in West Yorkshire—A Case Study and Critical Reflection
Climate 2017, 5(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030062
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 1 August 2017 / Accepted: 2 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Air pollution is increasingly recognised as a significant problem for cities, with wide ranging impacts on health and quality of life. Combined knowledge of the legal context and health impacts led to air pollution becoming a priority in West Yorkshire. A health impact
[...] Read more.
Air pollution is increasingly recognised as a significant problem for cities, with wide ranging impacts on health and quality of life. Combined knowledge of the legal context and health impacts led to air pollution becoming a priority in West Yorkshire. A health impact assessment methodology was used to explore the impacts of low emissions zones, demonstrating significant gains from the implementation of such a measure. This fed in to the collaborative development of the West Yorkshire Low Emissions Strategy (WYLES), resulting in policy changes and an incorporation of health and wellbeing concerns into transport and infrastructure planning, amongst other successes. This case study describes the collaborative approach taken to tackle air pollution locally and summarises key outputs and outcomes of work to date, before providing a critical reflection on what can be learnt from the West Yorkshire experience. This paper will thus interest advocates and stakeholders who are facing similar challenges. Key lessons revolve around broad stakeholder engagement and developing shared ambition. We finally discuss air pollution as a wicked problem, applying the lens of transitions management, a multidisciplinary systems change theory and discuss the local experience in relation to the literature on collaborative public management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Impact of Air Temperature on London Ambulance Call-Out Incidents and Response Times
Climate 2017, 5(3), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030061
Received: 13 June 2017 / Revised: 2 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 August 2017 / Published: 10 August 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1466 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ambulance services are in operation around the world and yet, until recently, ambulance data has only been used for operational purposes rather than for assessing public health. Ambulance call-out data offers new and valuable (near) real-time information that can be used to assess
[...] Read more.
Ambulance services are in operation around the world and yet, until recently, ambulance data has only been used for operational purposes rather than for assessing public health. Ambulance call-out data offers new and valuable (near) real-time information that can be used to assess the impact of environmental conditions, such as temperature, upon human health. A detailed analysis of London ambulance data at a selection of dates between 2003 and 2015 is presented and compared to London temperature data. In London, the speed of ambulance response begins to suffer when the mean daily air temperature drops below 2 °C or rises above 20 °C. This is explained largely by the increased number of calls past these threshold temperatures. The baseline relationships established in this work will inform the prediction of likely changes in ambulance demand (and illness types) that may be caused by seasonal temperature changes and the increased frequency and intensity of extreme/severe weather events, exacerbated by climate change, in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle An Ecological Study of the Association between Area-Level Green Space and Adult Mortality in Hong Kong
Climate 2017, 5(3), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5030055
Received: 25 April 2017 / Revised: 7 July 2017 / Accepted: 14 July 2017 / Published: 18 July 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (392 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is evidence that access to green spaces have positive effects on health, possibly through beneficial effects on exercise, air quality, urban heat islands, and stress. Few previous studies have examined the associations between green space and mortality, and they have given inconsistent
[...] Read more.
There is evidence that access to green spaces have positive effects on health, possibly through beneficial effects on exercise, air quality, urban heat islands, and stress. Few previous studies have examined the associations between green space and mortality, and they have given inconsistent results. This ecological study relates green space to mortality in Hong Kong from 2006 to 2011. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), a measure of green space coverage, was measured for 199 small geographic areas in Hong Kong. Negative Binomial Regression Models were fit for mortality outcomes with NDVI, age, gender, population density, and area-level socio-economic variables as predictors, with Generalized Estimating Equations used to control for within-cluster correlation. An interquartile range (0.44 units) higher NDVI was significantly associated with lower cardiovascular (relative risk (RR) = 0.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.80, 0.98) and diabetes (RR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.60, 0.92) mortality, and non-significantly associated with lower chronic respiratory mortality (RR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.79, 1.02). Associations were stronger for males and low-income area residents. Lung cancer mortality had no significant association with green space. Better provision of urban green space, particularly in low-income areas, appears to have potential to reduce mortality in densely-populated Asian cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Local Greenhouse Gas Abatement Strategies on Air Pollutant Emissions and on Health in Kuopio, Finland
Climate 2017, 5(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli5020043
Received: 18 May 2017 / Revised: 9 June 2017 / Accepted: 16 June 2017 / Published: 19 June 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (750 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Implementation of greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement strategies often ends up as the responsibility of municipal action rather than national policies. Impacts of local GHG reduction measures were investigated in the EU FP7 funded project Urban Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in China and
[...] Read more.
Implementation of greenhouse gas (GHG) abatement strategies often ends up as the responsibility of municipal action rather than national policies. Impacts of local GHG reduction measures were investigated in the EU FP7 funded project Urban Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in China and Europe (URGENCHE). Kuopio in Finland was one of the case study cities. The assessed reduction measures were (1) increased use of biomass in local heat and power cogeneration plant, (2) energy efficiency improvements of residences, (3) increased biofuel use in traffic, and (4) increased small scale combustion of wood for residential heating. Impact assessment compared the 2010 baseline with a 2020 BAU (business as usual) scenario and a 2020 CO2 interventions scenario. Changes in emissions were assessed for CO2, particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), NOx, and SO2, and respective impacts were assessed for PM2.5 ambient concentrations and health effects. The assessed measures would reduce the local CO2 emissions in the Kuopio urban area by over 50% and local emissions of PM2.5 would clearly decrease. However, the annual average ambient PM2.5 concentration would decrease by just 4%. Thus, only marginal population level health benefits would be achieved with these assumed local CO2 abatement actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate, Air Pollution, and Public Health)
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