Rerouting urban construction transport flows to avoid air pollution hotspots

Over 96% of the urban population is exposed to exceeding air pollution. Freight transport daily engenders over €60.000 of air pollution health costs in the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR), of which vulnerable population segments incur 60%. The construction sector is responsible for over 25% of truck traffic in the BCR.

A recent paper examines the exposure effects when off-site construction logistics flows are redirected around air pollution hotspots. Consequently, alternative routing scenarios are computed, and its emission is dispersed, assuming a Gaussian relation. Concentrations are then associated with spatiotemporal receptor densities. Finally, the health impact is monetized using hospital exposure-response functions.

While overall emissions increase across all scenarios, health costs are mitigated by up to 25% by rerouting existing flows. This study suggests decoupling policies from absolute transport emissions and focusing on their health impact, considering the spatiotemporal dynamics of both emissions and receptors.

Source: Brusselaers, N., Macharis, C., & Mommens, K. (2023). Rerouting urban construction transport flows to avoid air pollution hotspots. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 119, 103747.

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