Hyperlocal variation of nitrogen dioxide, black carbon, and ultrafine particles measured with Google Street View cars in Amsterdam and Copenhagen

Environ Int. 2022 Oct 8;170:107575. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2022.107575. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Hyperlocal air quality maps are becoming increasingly common, as they provide useful insights into the spatial variation and sources of air pollutants. In this study, we produced several high-resolution concentration maps to assess the spatial differences of three traffic-related pollutants, Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Black Carbon (BC) and Ultrafine Particles (UFP), in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Copenhagen, Denmark. All maps were based on a mixed-effect model approach by using state-of-the-art mobile measurements conducted by Google Street View (GSV) cars, during October 2018 - March 2020, and Land-use Regression (LUR) models based on several land-use and traffic predictor variables. We then explored the concentration ratio between the different normalised pollutants to understand possible contributing sources to the observed hyperlocal variations. The maps developed in this work reflect, (i) expected elevated pollution concentrations along busy roads, and (ii) similar concentration patterns on specific road types, e.g., motorways, for both cities. In the ratio maps, we observed a clear pattern of elevated concentrations of UFP near the airport in both cities, compared to BC and NO2. This is the first study to produce hyperlocal maps for BC and UFP using high-quality mobile measurements. These maps are important for policymakers and health-effect studies, trying to disentangle individual effects of key air pollutants of interest (e.g., UFP).

Keywords: Exposure; Google Street View; Hyperlocal air quality; Mixed-effect model; Ultrafine particles.