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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2013, Article ID 964904, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/964904
Research Article

Pedestrian Exposure to Air Pollution in Cities: Modeling the Effect of Roadside Trees

CESAM & Department of Environment and Planning, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

Received 3 May 2013; Revised 28 August 2013; Accepted 2 September 2013

Academic Editor: Panagiotis Nastos

Copyright © 2013 Jorge Humberto Amorim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The exposure of students to traffic-emitted carbon monoxide (CO) in their daily walk to school is evaluated, with a particular emphasis on the effect of trees and route choice. The study is focused on the city centre of Aveiro, in central Portugal. Time evolution of the georeferenced location of an individual is tracked with a GPS for different alternative walking routes to a school. Spatial distribution of CO concentration is simulated with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. An exposure model is developed that associates the georeferenced location of the student with the computed air quality levels (at an average breathing height) for that specific grid cell. For each individual, the model calculates the instantaneous exposure at each time frame and the mean value for a given period. Results show a general benefit induced by the trees over the mean exposure of the student in each route. However, in the case of instantaneous exposure values, this is not consistent along the entire period. Also, the variability of the estimated exposure values indicates the potential error that can be committed when using a single value of air quality as a surrogate of air pollution exposure.