Sustainable management of urban pollution: an integrated approach

Pettit, C; Chung, W; Sharifi, V; Chalabi, Z; Fletcher, T; Cleall, P; Thomas, H; de Munck, C; Sinnett, D; Jefferies, S; Jones, M; Azapagic, A; (2011) Sustainable management of urban pollution: an integrated approach. Building services engineering research & technology, 32 (1). pp. 21-34. ISSN 0143-6244 DOI:

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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.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Web of Science ID: 287590900003


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