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Estimating Environmental Pollution in Latin American Cities Using Emission Factors Data and GIS

Authors
Ossés, Margarita (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research EMPA)
Search for Margarita Ossés in Research Programmes Information System
Zah, Rainer (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research EMPA)
Search for Rainer Zah in Research Programmes Information System
M. Hilty, Lorenz (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research EMPA)
Search for Lorenz M. Hilty in Research Programmes Information System
Chapter Geographical information systems and their applications
Volume Informatics for Environmental Protection - Networking Environmental Information (Part 1)
Conference Informatics for Environmental Protection - Networking Environmental Information
Brno, 2005
Year 2005
Abstract of the Article
Many Latin American cities have difficulties in solving their environmental problems. A major reason is a lack of information for one thing. In response to this situation we propose a method to gain knowledge about the pollution in a city by estimating the emissions generated by the main activities of its inhabitants. The method is based on Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and emission factors for the most relevant human activities. The latter include industrial production, human settlements of different socio-economic levels and traffic associated with diverse vehicle types. Factors for the emissions to air and water are applied as are factors for the generation of solid wastes and wastewater. The method is used in a given city by combining the activity-specific emission factors with local data on the spatial distribution of the local activities. In this way, the contributions of the different activities to the overall pollution in the city can be estimated. Furthermore, a spatial assessment of the activities and their emissions is possible. The method will first be applied to Lima (Peru). Nevertheless, the database developed for the method contains emission factors from various Latin American countries. Thus, the method can be applied to diverse cities. This paper describes the main components of the GIS application and the environmental database containing the emission factors. Limitations and difficulties of the proposed method, as well as its potential applications for environmental assessment and urban planning are discussed.
Pages 268 - 275
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