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Optimal air quality policies and health: a multi-objective nonlinear approach


The use of modelling tools to support decision-makers to plan air quality policies is now quite widespread in Europe. In this paper, the Regional Integrated Assessment Tool (RIAT+), which was designed to support policy-maker decision on optimal emission reduction measures to improve air quality at minimum costs, is applied to the Porto Urban Area (Portugal). In addition to technological measures, some local measures were included in the optimization process. Case study results are presented for a multi-objective approach focused on both NO2 and PM10 control measures, assuming equivalent importance in the optimization process. The optimal set of air quality measures is capable to reduce simultaneously the annual average concentrations values of PM10 and NO2 in 1.7 and 1.0 μg/m3, respectively. This paper illustrates how the tool could be used to prioritize policy objectives and help making informed decisions about reducing air pollution and improving public health.

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The work has been performed using part of the data collected and managed in the GAINS (Europe) database. The authors would also like to acknowledge the financial support of FEDER through the COMPETE Programme and the national funds from FCT—Science and Technology Portuguese Foundation for the Ph.D. grant of H. Relvas (SFRH/BD/101660/2014). We thank two anonymous reviewers for providing constructive comments on this article.

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Correspondence to Helder Relvas.

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Responsible editor: Philippe Garrigues

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Fig. S1

Total primary gridded emissions at 2 × 2 km2 resolution for the CLE2020 (a) and the MFR2020 (b) inside the Porto Urban Area for PM2.5 and SO2. Units: Tonn yr.-1 (JPEG 68.3 kb)

Fig. S2

Total primary gridded emissions at 2 × 2 km2 resolution for the CLE2020 (a) and the MFR2020 (b) inside the Porto Urban Area for NH3 and VOC. Units: Tonn yr.-1 (JPEG 73.3 kb)

Fig. S3

ANN input and output values considering each quadrant (JPEG 86.2 kb)

Fig. S4

Number of available taxis in Porto Urban Area by municipality (JPEG 30.4 kb)

Fig. S5

ANN best parameters, for PM10 and NO2 annual mean index (JPEG 61.8 kb)

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Relvas, H., Miranda, A.I., Carnevale, C. et al. Optimal air quality policies and health: a multi-objective nonlinear approach. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24, 13687–13699 (2017).

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  • Urban air quality planning
  • Integrated assessment modelling
  • Emission reduction scenarios
  • Surrogate model
  • Cost-benefit
  • Multi-objective approach