Modeling the health benefits of traffic related air pollution abatement across the City of Los Angeles

Authors: Kenan Li*, University of Southern California, John P. Wilson, University of Southern California
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Human-Environment Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: traffic related air pollution, BenMap-CE, super block
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The adverse impacts of air pollution are well known and the City of Los Angeles (LA) is working to establish Zero Emission Areas (ZEAs) as part of the city’s Green New Deal. The current plan, which envisages using transit malls, people-first streets and superblocks to reduce the gasoline-powered automobiles and diesel freight vehicles passing through four neighborhoods, assumes that these changes would reduce traffic related air pollution (TRAP), noise and the urban heat island effect. This project used BenMap-CE along with several other custom LA datasets to model the current health burden of TRAP and the benefits that would accrue from transforming 5, 10, and 20 percent of the residential neighborhoods in the City of LA into superblocks. The community edition of BenMap provides a well-documented suite of tools and prior applications have used these tools to examine the health impacts of monitored changes in air quality, the health burden of recent and future modeled air quality, and transportation- and climate-related impacts. We used BenMAP-CE with remotely sensed satellite imagery and local air quality monitoring data to: (1) estimate the current baseline conditions and separate the local TRAP from regional emissions; and (2) model the effects of changes in local traffic volumes and the vehicle fleet on TRAP emissions and the likely reductions in health impacts.

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