Air quality can add new perspectives to urban planning

In charge of the identification and the evaluation of the input data available on the European scale, and collecting and treating for the pilot cities for the specific services proposed by the ACCENT project, the French company NUMTECH, specialised in air quality modelling, has developed its own information and forecasting system on air quality: the Urban Air system®. This software platform allows mapping and forecasting air quality at high resolution, at the scale of an urban area, a district or a street.

By providing local information on the state of air quality, this tool gives valuable assistance to decision-makers by allowing them, for example:

  • to initiate threshold overrun alerts following forecasting, to inform the general public and to allow sensitive people taking measures for the protection of their health,
  • to test and then to implement, in case of pollution peak, short-term actions to limit the exposure of the population (reduction of vehicle speeds or implementation of alternative traffic plans, etc.),
  • to assess the impact of industrial and transportation facilities and/or urban planning projects.

This system will be presented at the next international TAP (Transport and Air Pollution) conference from 24 to 26 May 2016 at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon. It is now operational over almost 25 cities in France and abroad (Dubai, Casablanca), and it is currently being deployed on 4 new urban areas for 2016 (whose two European capitals and one American big city).

The ACCENT has a double interest for Urban Air®:

  • on one hand, the energy computation associated with each building in ACCENT allows accurately calculating the emissions from the residential and tertiary sector, and therefore refine input data necessary to supply the Urban Air® system,
  • on the other hand, it is planned to use the ACCENT platform as a new means for the exploitation of outdoor air quality information.
User interface for the consultation of forecasting maps.
User interface for the consultation of forecasting maps on air quality.

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