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Improving air quality: co-benefits for the urban system

Air Quality and Climate Change
Volume 45 Issue 4 (Nov 2011)

Abstract: A city is a complex system with many different components that interact to influence population health. Decisions taken in the building, energy and transport sectors all have impacts on air quality and health. Policies can have unintended consequences, including adverse health impacts and differential impacts on vulnerable populations; thus, health and social factors need to be considered from the outset in integrated policy appraisal. The shift in residential heating from solid fuels to electricity and flued gas burners reduces health problems, but unless affordable insulation and clean and affordable heating systems are installed in households, and low-income households can afford the fuel, those in poorly heated homes will suffer from excess winter illnesses. In New Zealand, excess winter mortality continues to be among the highest in the developed world. Transport system adjustments can also be evaluated in terms of co-benefits. The technological shift from petrol to diesel-driven cars may have increased the health risks from particulates, while a shift from passive car transport to active modes of transport, such as walking and cycling, would improve not only air quality but also people's physical activity: both of these are good for health. This paper reviews New Zealand research in these areas and considers the co-benefits of sector policies in relation to health and social equity outcomes.

To cite this article: Howden-Chapman, P; Hales, S; Chapman, R and Shaw, C. Improving air quality: co-benefits for the urban system [online]. Air Quality and Climate Change, Vol. 45, No. 4, Nov 2011: 19-23. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=629323899669591;res=IELENG> ISSN: 1836-5884. [cited 26 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Howden-Chapman, P; Hales, S; Chapman, R; Shaw, C; Source: Air Quality and Climate Change, Vol. 45, No. 4, Nov 2011: 19-23 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1836-5884 Subject: Air quality management; Climatic changes--Economic aspects; Climatic changes--Health aspects; Air--Pollution--Measurement; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand, email: phillipa.howden-chapman@otago.ac.nz
(2) New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
(3) School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
(4) School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Database: Engineering Collection