Assessment of Different Land Use Development Scenarios in Terms of Traffic Flows and Associated Air Quality
Compact and polycentric city forms are associated with minimal consumption of land and energy, and are often promoted as the more sustainable and hence preferred mode of urban development. In this context, a series of numerical simulations was performed to evaluate the impact of two urban development scenarios on air quality and related human exposure. The area that was selected consists of a highly urbanised region in the Ruhr area, located in the north-western part of Germany in central North Rhine-Westphalia with a total population in excess of 5.5 million. The choice for this particular area was mainly motivated by its size and importance, as well as its conversion potential. Two distinct scenarios were selected. The first is referred to as ‘urban sprawl’ and is characterized by a significant increase in built-up surface. This scenario supposes a continuation of the current process of people leaving the highly occupied central part of the study area to settle in the greener surroundings. In the second scenario, referred to as ‘satellite cities’, persons and jobs were displaced to five existing towns located near the core of the urban area. Models dealing with land use, traffic flows, and atmospheric dispersion were applied, first under conditions representative of the urbanised area as it is today. Subsequently, the urban development scenarios were implemented using spatial modelling techniques, and the impact of the scenarios with respect to air quality was evaluated, including an estimate of human exposure to air pollution and the associated external costs.
KeywordsTraffic Flow Urban Sprawl Damage Cost Urban Green Space Atmospheric Dispersion
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