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6 Aug 2019Highways England fund feasibility study for modelling elevated roads with ADMS-Urban & ADMS-Roads

We are delighted that Highways England has funded our proposal "Feasibility of tool to assess air quality impacts of elevated roads within the Strategic Road Network (SRN)".

Populations are most exposed to pollution from the SRN in urban areas where the road geometry often includes complex features to improve traffic flow at junctions, such as flyovers and underpasses. There is therefore an urgent need to understand the detailed local air quality impacts of these road features on neighbouring communities.

For this 2-month project, CERC's scientific experts will examine and assess different methodologies for improving the modelling of pollutant dispersion in the vicinity of elevated roads and bridges, to assess the feasibility of developing a new sub-model for ADMS-Roads and ADMS-Urban. Any such model developments would benefit the whole community interested in developing air quality mitigation measures in urban areas, including Highways England and local authority planners.


1 Aug 2019Smart Cities: Hong Kong launch a personalised exposure app

Another significant milestone in the PRAISE-HK project has been reached with the launch in Hong Kong of a real-time personalised exposure app for mobile devices. CERC's technical director, Dr David Carruthers, attended the launch along with representatives from the other partners in this 5-year project to provide Hong Kong citizens with accurate real time and forecast pollution information.

This smart city initiative started in 2017, and CERC have been working closely with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to integrate a Linux version of CERC's ADMS-Urban high-resolution air quality model in combination with the CMAQ regional model and WRF meteorological data using our Regional Model Link. The result is a highly detailed street-level pollution map, an example of which can be seen in the app image opposite.

The project's next phase will be to extend the system to include indoor air quality and personalised health recommendations.


24 Jul 2019Mayor publishes first data from world-leading air quality sensor network in London

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has revealed new data showing some of London's most polluted streets as his Breathe London sensor network gives a fresh insight into the capital's air quality issues. More than 100 fixed sensors were placed in locations across the capital and found elevated levels of pollution not only in central London but also outer boroughs such as Barking, Kingston and Hillingdon.

A data platform developed by CERC provides the data, maps and visualisations for the Breathe London website. The platform is based on the Google Cloud, which enables user-friendly performance when querying these large datasets to provide graphs and visualisations, and ensures the replicability and scalability of the platform to other cities around the world. The platform is capable of ingesting data automatically from Breathe London's AQMesh sensors and also other monitor networks such as the London Air Quality Network.


17 Jul 2019Modelling urban heat islands in Kuala Lumpur

Over half of the world's population reside in urban areas, particularly in Asian countries and its percentage continues to increase. Megacities bring their own unique problems, especially in relation to air pollution and land-use change and its impact on weather and climate, urban flooding and water availability.

A conference co-organised by City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Asian Network for Climate Science and Technology was held in May 2017 to discuss research on urban meteorology and climate in growing Asian cities. Following on from that conference, the journal Geoscience Letters has been publishing related papers in the 'Thematic Collection in Geoscience Letters: Asian Urban Meteorology and Climate'.

The latest of these publications, 'Urban heat island modelling of a tropical city: case of Kuala Lumpur', was co-authored by CERC. It presents evaluation and results of an application of the ADMS-Urban Temperature and Humidity model for the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The study relates to work undertaken as part of the Newton-Ungku Omar funded project 'Disaster Resilient Cities: Forecasting Local Level Climate Extremes & Physical Hazards for Kuala Lumpur'; project partners include University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysian Meteorological Department, University College London and the University of Cambridge.

The figure shows (a) ADMS-Urban modelled air temperatures at 3 m above ground (12:00 noon) and (b) derived Land Surface Temperature LST (11:27 a.m.) for Greater Kuala Lumpur; blanks are areas with derived LSTs lower than 15 °C due to cloud cover. The figure demonstrates that the modelled air temperatures correlate with the LSTs.


12 Jul 2019Irish EPA assesses NO2 in Dublin using ADMS-Urban

The Irish Environmental Protection Agency has published new evidence on NO2 levels in Dublin. The report has been widely covered including by The Irish Times and RTE.

The EPA report draws on a modelling study carried out by CERC using ADMS-Urban. CERC used traffic data provided by Dublin City Council, and emissions data from the EPA and the MapElre project. LIDAR height data was analysed to derive building parameters for the ADMS-Urban advanced street canyon module. Modelled concentrations were compared with measurements from continuous monitors and a diffusion tube study; overall, the model performed well.

The report identifies areas likely to breach the EU 40μg/m3 limit value for annual average NO2 concentrations: several streets in the city centre, the M50 motorway and the area around the entrances to the Dublin Port Tunnel.

The EPA is using both of the studies to help expand the national monitoring network as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme 2017-2022. If further monitoring confirms exceedences of the EU limit value, the local authorities will be required to produce an Air Quality Action Plan.

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