Air Quality, Emissions, Growth, and Change: A Method to Prescribe a Desirable Future

EPA Grant Number: R831838
Title: Air Quality, Emissions, Growth, and Change: A Method to Prescribe a Desirable Future
Investigators: Chang, Michael E. , Carpenter, Ann , Chapman, James , Noonan, Douglas , Russell, Armistead G.
Current Investigators: Chang, Michael E. , Akhtar, Farhan , Carpenter, Ann , Chapman, James , Chirico, Jennifer M , Noonan, Douglas , Russell, Armistead G.
Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
Current Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology , Lawrence Frank and Company, Inc.
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: December 1, 2004 through November 30, 2007 (Extended to November 30, 2009)
Project Amount: $649,999
RFA: Regional Development, Population Trend, and Technology Change Impacts on Future Air Pollution Emissions (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Global Climate Change , Climate Change , Air

Description:

At the scale of 50 years, we postulate that emissions and the activities, processes, and infrastructure associated with them, are pliant – that is, they are adaptable. Rather than trying to predict how emissions will change in the future and what impact they will have on future air quality (and hoping that the impact is beneficial), we propose a method in which we define a desirable air quality state and then derive the emissions and activity profiles required to achieve it.

Objective:

Our objectives are threefold: 1) to develop and apply at the regional community scale a reasonable method for defining one or more desirable future air quality states; 2) to develop and demonstrate an “inverse” approach that utilizes the future desired air quality to derive the emissions, activities, processes, and infrastructure that are needed to achieve the desired future; and 3) to identify the types and amounts of land use modifications, technology advancements, and other changes that will be required to transform or morph the present emissions scenario into the future desired emissions scenario. Key to our approach are our hypotheses that (1) it is difficult, if not impossible to forecast emissions in an urban area out fifty years, so the better goal is to identify the desired emissions distributions to maximize quality of life, (2) subtle changes in population distributions and the resulting emissions changes can be used in a non-linear optimization to identify which types of growth best align with improved quality of life, and (3) that improving air quality, alone, is unlikely to be a driver for growth patterns, but can be used to influence growth.

Approach:

There are three steps to our approach. First we intend to develop and apply at the regional community scale a reasonable method for defining one or more desirable future air quality states. Second, we will develop and demonstrate an “inverse” approach that utilizes the future desired air quality to derive the emissions, activities, processes, and infrastructure that are needed to achieve the desired future. Lastly, we will begin to identify the types and amounts of land use modifications, technology advancements, and other changes that will be required to transform or morph the present emissions scenario into the future desired emissions scenario given reasonable natural, physical, and social constraints.

Expected Results:

This project is designed to invert the general request of the RFP from how does one forecast emissions out for 50 years to how does one identify the desirable distributions of emissions in 50 years, such that planners can then target policies and developments to meet those goals. While the approach is to be general in nature and applicable to any region in the U.S., the focus area is the rapidly growing north Georgia area, including Atlanta. We plan to provide particular suggestions to regional planners in this area, and work with them directly in the course of the research.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 15 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 4 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Kalman Filter, smog, city planning, transportation planning, technology forcing, community preferences, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, RESEARCH, Health Risk Assessment, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Risk Assessments, Monitoring/Modeling, Monitoring, Environmental Monitoring, Physical Processes, Atmospheric Sciences, Ecological Risk Assessment, Atmosphere, ecosystem models, integrated assessments, particulate matter, air quality modeling, atmospheric measurements, model-based analysis, remote sensing, motor vehicle emissions, fine particles, automobile exhaust, exposure, global change, model assisted estimation, air pollution, green house gas concentrations, air quality model, modeling, human exposure, climate models, environmental stressors, human activity, landscape characterization, air quality assessments, airborne urban contaminants, human health risk, land use, air quality, ambient air pollution, public health effects, ozone concentrations, transportation, atmospheric chemistry

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • 2007 Progress Report
  • 2008
  • Final