Traffic-Related PM2.5 Air Pollution and Schools in Proximity to Major Roadways in Shanghai, China
Air pollution is a major issue around the world, which affects not only climate change but also people’s health. Shanghai has the one of the most serious air pollution problems in the world. Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is to be blamed for the main component contributing to the serious smoggy weather in recent years. Research has shown vehicle emissions are the main source of PM2.5 emissions in Shanghai. Children are vulnerable to PM2.5 air pollution because of their undeveloped immune system and lung function. Traffic-related air pollution levels are higher while they are in school, and the location of schools close to roadways with heavy traffic. Therefore, this study aims to explore PM2.5 air pollution problems caused by transportation and the location of schools in proximity to major roadways in the city of Shanghai. In this study, the traffic density data was used to calculate the traffic-related PM2.5 emissions, and GIS Geostatistical tools and the Kriging Interpolation Tool were used to analyze traffic-related PM2.5 dispersion in Shanghai. Schools within a distance of 100 meters to 400 meters from major roadways were selected as study samples to assess students’ exposure to traffic-related PM2.5 and health risks caused by vehicle emissions. A school hazard score map was developed to highlight the existing school sites where the highest health risks to students occur. The findings show that the west and east inner city and western suburbs have the most serious traffic-related PM2.5 pollution in Shanghai. I also developed a school site suitability index for Shanghai based on the level of PM2.5 emissions and distance to major roadways to help planners decide school sites in the future. Furthermore, a set of policies were proposed to mitigate traffic-related PM2.5 emissions in Shanghai.
- Urban planning