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URBAG presentation at the 14th International Conference on Air Quality

28 May 2024

Alba Badia showed a poster on “Modelling the effects of land use changes on the urban air quality: urbanization, urban vegetation, and agriculture” in which she discussed the air quality changes between the reference scenario and the scenarios that have been designed by the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB)’s office of urban planning. She presented chemical changes for the dry deposition and biogenic emissions together with air quality changes for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and ozone (O3) using the WRF-Chem model. Results show that increasing urbanization increases surface temperature promoting the generation of secondary pollutants as O3 (8%). Alba also explained that when urban areas are replaced by agriculture or urban parks, modelled pollution is reduced by two mechanisms: 1) the increased evaporation due to more vegetation reduces the surface temperature and consequently the production of secondary pollutants; and 2) the increase of dry deposition capacity due to more leaf surface area. Other results she highlighted at the conference are that 1) primary pollutants such as NH3 and PM, could increase due to the use of fertilizers from agricultural practices and 2), urban greening likely has regional O3 implications if new vegetation emits high levels of VOC. Our main conclusion for this study is that greening strategies need to be combined with emission reduction of anthropogenic primary pollutants to effectively improve air quality in urban areas. For more information on the conference, please visit https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/air-quality-2024

Alba Badia presenting her work at the 14th International Conference on Air Quality.