A take-home message from COVID-19 on urban air pollution reduction through mobility limitations and teleworking

Alba Badia Moragas, Johannes Langemeyer, Joan Gilabert Mestre, Veronica Vidal Canedo, Ricard Segura Barrero, xavier codina, mar vives, nacho vilera, Gara Villalba*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The rigorous traffic limitations during COVID-19 have forced many people to work from home, reaching an outstanding degree of teleworking and reduction in air pollution. This exceptional situation can be examined as a large-scale pilot test to determine the potential of improving urban air quality through teleworking. Based on observed traffic reductions during the COVID-19 lockdown in Barcelona, we formulate socio-occupational scenarios, with various configurations of teleworking, and simulate them using the chemistry transport model WRF-Chem with multi-layer urban scheme. By intensifying teleworking to 2, 3, and 4 days a week, averaged NO 2 concentrations are reduced by 4% (−1.5 μg m −3 ), 8% (−3 μg m −3 ), and 10% (−6 μg m −3 ), respectively, while O 3 increases moderately (up to 3 μg m −3 ). We propose that teleworking be prioritized and promoted as an effective contribution towards reduction of long-term urban air pollution and short-term pollution peaks.
Original languageEnglish
Journalnpj Urban Sustainability
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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