Lockdown measures and air quality: evidence from Italian provinces

Lett Spat Resour Sci. 2021;14(2):101-110. doi: 10.1007/s12076-021-00267-4. Epub 2021 Feb 21.


The aim of this short communication is to estimate the effects of the implementation of more restrictive lockdown measures on pollution levels in Italy. Using a time series of weekly concentrations of PM10, PM2.5 and NO2 for the period 2016-2020 across 71 provinces, we find that the introduction of lockdown measures reduced the air concentration levels of PM10 and NO2 by 17-18%, while their effect on PM2.5 remains unclear. These results indicate that the lockdown had a significant positive impact in terms of lives saved and improved air quality.

Keywords: Air quality; COVID-19; Pandemics; Particulate matter; Pollution.