Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What are the Impacts of Transportation on Cities?

A closer look at urban transport - TERM 2013: transport indicators tracking progress towards environmental targets in Europe(112 page pdf, Transport and Environment Reporting Mechanism (TERM), European Environment Agency, Dec. 3, 2013)

Also discussed here: Front-running cities changing transport, improving quality of life(Press Release, European Environment Agency, Dec. 3, 2013) Today we review a report from TERM in Europe which monitors progress of cities toward EU goals concerning air pollution and noise from transportation, principally from privately-owned vehicles especially those fuelled with diesel whose fate is nicely summed up by this quote: "Many cities are applying innovative ideas which will make the car-based transport system seem like an idea belonging to the last century.” Some of the alarming statistics include: 96 to 98 % of city dwellers are exposed to fine particulate or ozone levels above WHO guidelines, half of the urban population is exposed to noise levels above 55 dB and nearly EUR 100 billion is lost annually as a result of traffic congestion. Further development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans is recommended which would include improvements for cyclists and pedestrians and traffic calming and better public transport. transportation health impacts on Europe  

Key Quotes:

“In 2011, the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) annual limit value was exceeded at 42 % of the traffic stations at 3 % of the urban background stations but only at one rural background station within the EU.”

 “Diesel vehicles generally emit more PM and NOX per kilometre than their gasoline equivalents. In 2011, PM with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less (PM10) was exceeded at 43 % of traffic sites, 38 % of urban background sites, 26 % of 'other' sites (mostly industrial) and even at 15 % of rural sites within the EU.”

“Between 2009 and 2011, up to 96 % of city dwellers were exposed to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations above WHO guidelines and up to 98 % were exposed to O3 levels above WHO guidelines (EEA, 2013). The average contribution of urban and local traffic to PM10 concentration is 35 % while it is up to 64 % in the case of NO2 concentrations (EEA, 2012).”

"Traffic exposes half of the EU's urban population to noise levels above 55 dB (see Box 2.6). In most cities, more than half of respondents agreed that noise was a major problem in their city — this proportion ranged from 51 % in Rotterdam and Strasbourg to 95 % in Athens (EC, 2010).”

“Quality of life is also affected by commute times, with commuters in London and Budapest are most likely to travel more than an hour to work, according to a survey of 75 cities in the EU and Turkey.”

 “Pedestrians are the most vulnerable travellers, with 70–80 % of pedestrian/vehicle crashes occurring when people try to cross the road (OECD, ITF, 2011), including between 33 % and 50 % at a pedestrian crossing.”

 " nearly EUR 100 billion — around 1 % of the EU's GDP — are lost to the European economy annually as a result of traffic congestion (EC, 2007).”
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment