Sustainable management of urban pollution: An integrated approach

Carol Pettit, Winson Chung, Vida Sharifi, Zaid Chalabi, Tony Fletcher, Peter Cleall, Hywel Thomas, Cecile De Munck, Danielle Sinnett, Stephan Jefferies, Martyn Jones, Adisa Azapagic

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    This paper presents a new decision-support framework and software platform for an integrated assessment of options for sustainable management of urban pollution. The framework involves three steps: (1) mapping the flow of pollutants associated with human activities in the urban environment; (2) modelling the fate and transport of pollutants; and (3) quantifying the environmental, health and socio-economic impacts of urban pollution. It comprises a suite of different models and tools to support sustainability appraisals including life cycle assessment, substance flow analysis, source and pollutants characterisation, pollutant fate and transport modelling, health impact analysis, ecological impact assessment, and multi-criteria decision analysis. The framework can be used at different levels, from simple screening studies to more detailed assessments. The paper describes the decision-support framework and outlines several case studies to demonstrate its application. The software tool is available free of charge at Practical applications: The PUrE framework and software platform can be applied to assess and compare the sustainability of different technologies, products, human activities or policies. Example applications of the framework have so far included sustainability comparisons of technologies for thermal treatment of municipal solid waste; generation of electricity from coal and biomass; environmental and health impacts of a mixture of pollutants in Sheffield; the role of urban green space in reducing the levels of particulate matter in London and the impacts of environmental policy on legacy pollution in Avenmouth. © The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers 2011.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-34
    Number of pages13
    JournalBuilding Services Engineering Research and Technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


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