After evaluating information from the WHO and the UN, the Youth 4 Public Transport group created the #BreathableCities World Campaign to test the hypothesis that on a same route an individual’s exposure to, dose of and response to an agent of air pollution might significantly vary depending on what mode of transport is taken. They conducted a field-based experiment in different cities by involving a wide range of urban transport actors such as passengers (e.g. bus, taxi cap, metro, tram, BRT, water taxi, cable car, public escalators, urban service helicopters), drivers (e.g. private cars, motorcycles, bicycles, animal-drawn vehicles), pedestrians, authorities (e.g. traffic agents), among others.
Each actor had a specialized portable monitoring equipment (e.g. micro-aethalometers, PM monitors and filters, accelerometers, GPS trackers, heart rate monitors) docked onto their body. This recorded concentrations of air pollutants (e.g. CO2, CO, BC, PM2.5, PM10), physiological variables (e.g. heart rate) and meteorological parameters (e.g. temperature, relative humidity) during a preset time period, taking different scenarios (such as peak/off-peak hours, weather, high/low traffic roads, weekends vs. weekdays, pedestrian only areas vs. highways, land adjacent to transport infrastructure, “car-free days”, etc.) into account. The campaign has been carried out twice, both times in Bogota in 2015, where the conclusion was that there was a significant difference on health between inhalation and explore. The findings are collected in a presentation here.
*Sustainable Development Goals – 3.6, 9.1 & 11.3.2
Transport issues addressed – Cycling, public transport, road safety for pedestrians, road safety for car drivers, traffic, air quality.
Photo Credit: Youth4PublicTransport