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A futures-based analysis for urban air quality remediation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2012
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Engineering Sustainability
Journal number1
Volume165
Number of pages16
Pages21-36
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Strong sustainability credentials are now considered an important aspect of any new urban development. However, actions to improve sustainability (described here as solutions) must not only perform under present conditions but must also continue to deliver their benefits however the future develops. This paper examines sustainability with respect to air quality (AQ) for a 6·6 ha case study in Lancaster, UK. The impacts of the proposed development on concentrations of the pollutants nitrogen dioxide, ozone and particulate matter and on air temperature are considered. The aspects of the development designed to enhance its sustainability for AQ, either explicitly or implicitly, include making the development permeable to non-motorised transport, providing new and appropriate bus routes, and minimising car parking space. Further important aspects of the design are highlighted, including tree planting, building form and albedo. The resilience of these solutions to future change is assessed using a scenarios-based futures analysis and the future resilience of many of the proposed solutions is shown to be uncertain. This is particularly the case for those solutions that rely on policy or maintenance to maintain their efficacy. The importance of developing cross-disciplinary sustainability solutions to enhance resilience is highlighted.