An integrated approach to assessing the environmental and health impacts of pollution in the urban environment: Methodology and a case study

A. Azapagic*, Z. Chalabi, T. Fletcher, C. Grundy, M. Jones, Giovanni Leonardi, O. Osammor, V. Sharifi, J. Swithenbank, A. Tiwary, S. Vardoulakis

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper presents a new decision-support methodology and software tool for sustainable management of urban pollution. A number of different methods and tools are integrated within the same platform, including GIS, LCA, fate and transport modelling, health impact assessment and multi-criteria decision analysis. The application of the framework is illustrated on a case study which investigates the environmental and health impacts of pollution arising from different industrial, domestic and transport sources in a city. The example city chosen for the study is Sheffield, UK, and the main pollutants considered are NOx, SO2 and PM10. The results suggest that the absence of the current large industrial sources in the city would lead to a 90% reduction of the SO2 and 70% of the NO2 ground concentrations, consequently preventing 27 deaths and 18 respiratory hospital admissions per annum for a population of 500,000. Based on the total annual mortality and hospital admissions in Sheffield for the year of the assessment, this means that 0.53% of premature deaths and 0.49% of respiratory hospital admissions would be prevented by the estimated reduction in air pollution.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)508-520
    Number of pages13
    JournalProcess Safety and Environmental Protection
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The work presented in this paper was carried out as part of the project “Pollution in the Urban Environment (PUrE)” funded by EPSRC under the Sustainable Urban Environment (SUE) programme (grant no. EP/C532651/2 ). The authors gratefully acknowledge this funding. We would also like to thank our partners in the PUrE consortium for their support. The census data are Crown copyright reproduced with the permission of HMSO. Any views or opinions presented in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the United Kingdom Health Protection Agency.


    • Air dispersion modelling
    • Health impacts
    • Integrated sustainability assessment
    • LCA
    • Urban pollution


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