About this Research Topic
Air pollution and carbon emission levels have declined significantly in cities around the world due to restrictions (“lockdowns”) imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19. These declines in emissions, and related air quality improvements, are mainly due to reductions in urban road transport, but also in industrial and commercial activities in many regions.
On the other hand, changes in activity patterns, with urban residents spending more time at home, could bring increases in domestic emission of air pollutants and greenhouse gases for space heating or cooling. Working and studying from home, as well as using more Internet resources for shopping, telemedicine and entertainment, could increase emissions associated with data transfer (e.g. video streaming).
Overall, it is plausible that this “global experiment” of widespread city lockdowns could bring significant changes in environmental exposures and potentially certain health benefits for urban populations, which would counterbalance to some extent the huge health burden of the pandemic. These measures could also be seen as “controlled interventions” showing us what might happen for example if extreme traffic management regulations were put into place.
Urban air quality and greenhouse gas emissions are likely to be different in cities post-lockdown. A rebound of road traffic and energy consumption is possible, but we could also see long-term changes in work, education and entertainment that will both reduce crowdedness and alter patterns of environmental health risks.
This Research Topic aims to explore the unintended current and future consequences of the COVID-19 mitigation measures on urban environmental health and sustainability, taking into account the multiple interactions between atmospheric emissions, outdoor and indoor air quality, human behaviour and public health in cities around the world.
We welcome submissions on:
- Impact of lockdowns on urban air quality
- Impact of lockdowns on greenhouse gas emissions from cities
- Changes in emissions from the transport, housing, and business sectors
- Lockdown impacts on urban green and blue spaces
- Lockdown impacts on waste management and recycling
- Energy use for data transfer, video streaming etc.
- Interactions between air pollution and Covid-19
- Air pollution epidemiology studies in cities in lockdown
- Environmental exposure and health impact assessment studies
- Post-Covid-19 scenarios for air quality and urban health
Keywords: COVID-19, Lockdown, Air Pollution, Air Quality, Urban Road Transport, Emissions, Environmenal Exposures, Urban Populations
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.