Cities in the 21st century are dynamically changing in response to environmental and societal pressures, not least among which are climate change and air pollution. In some of these metropoles, such as Berlin, a transformation of mobility systems has already begun. Along a mid-sized street in Berlin, a measurement campaign was conducted in 2020 to accompany the construction of a bike lane and the implementation of a community space along one of the side-streets. Using the new technology of low-cost sensors, higher resolution measurements of local air quality were enabled. Stationary and mobile measurements were taken using EarthSense Zephyr sensor systems before and after the construction of the bike lane and during the timeframe when the community space was in place. It was found that the implementation of the bike lane led to a reduction in NO2 exposure for cyclists. During periods when the community space was in place, a reduction in NO2 concentrations was also measured. This study highlights not only the utility of low-cost sensors for the measurement of urban air quality, but also their value in a science-policy context. Measuring local air quality changes in response to traffic interventions will enhance understanding of the associated health benefits, especially in connection with measures promoting more sustainable modes of active travel. More research of this nature is needed to gain a clear understanding of the impacts of traffic interventions on local air quality for better protection of human health.
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- Academic Articles
Schmitz, S., Caseiro, A., Kerschbaumer, A., & von Schneidemesser, E. (2021). Do new bike lanes impact air pollution exposure for cyclists? – A case study from Berlin. Environmental Research Letters, 16(8): 084031. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac1379.
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- Climate Change and Air Pollution: Research Needs and Pathways to Policy Implementation