Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SIM-air Model for Air Pollution Analysis in Three More Cities in India

From the UNEP-LCMP program news letter - August, 2013

In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO), presented air quality data for particulate pollution in 1100 cities, and listed 27 cities from India as amongst the top 100 cities with the worst air quality. For most cities in India (and in Asia), the transport sector is identified as one of the leading causes of premature mortality and increasing number of morbidity cases.

Among the transport indicators evaluated for the development of Low-carbon Comprehensive Mobility Plans (LCMPs), and following a stakeholder consultation process, it was determined that urban air quality should be included as one of the in the project. These indicators will be studied within the current year, based on the data collected from the surveys, and also used to account for future business as usual projections and low carbon scenarios (with projections up to 2050).

Passenger travel patterns; city infrastructure; and transport planning models were all important aspects of producing geo-referenced information on travel demand across the city. This is a rich information dataset, which can be very useful as input for transport emissions modeling and urban air quality analysis. The urban transport information database also included results and information on technology transitions related to vehicle efficiencies and the carbon intensity of electricity, adapted from scenario studies conducted at the national level.
The SIM-air family of tools was utilised within the project, resulting in estimates of key parameters, such as total emissions (other than the road transport emissions calculated under the LCMP project), and consequently allow for the simulation of the interactions between emissions, pollution dispersion, impacts, and management options in an environmental and economic context.

Participants from LCMP SIM-air tools training
The SIM-air family of tools are integrated, free, plug & play in nature; they also benefit from being modular, where the user can breakdown the tools to individual components (by sectors) to evaluate the emissions and the pollution control interventions.

These tools were previously applied for studying air quality management in various cities in Asia. Within the scope of the project, the SIM-air model will be used in three cities – Rajkot (State: Gujarat), Vishakhapatnam (State: Andhra Pradesh) and Udaipur (State: Rajasthan); and on its use was also provided to consultants from the three cities in March 2013, in New Delhi, India.

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