13 Pages

City Space and Pollution Dispersion: A Modelling and Monitoring Exercise

How well does a particular geometry of city space affect pollution dispersion? This is a question that assumes some significance in the search for sustainable urban forms. It has been argued that the compact city may reduce travel and hence vehicle emmissions, but there are also suggestions that it may result in overcrowding, traffic congestion and air pollution, affecting the quality of life. It is thus important to understand the relationship between pollution dispersion and urban form. The geometry of a city contributes to the determination of its own climate both on a city-wide and a street scale. The implications for monitoring and modelling wind field and pollution dispersion in the urban environment are such that it is difficult to generalise for pollution movement in cities, or even different spaces of the same city. The varying relief of an urban environment means it is difficult to make meaningful air quality measurements which can help with decisionmaking, and it provides a highly demanding modelling challenge. Yet the benefits to be gained from a good, well-tested model extend to policy-makers, urban designers, transport planners, environmental engineers and, ultimately, to the city-dwellers and workers.