The mission of this EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) Pollutants in the Urban Environment (PUrE) Research Consortium project is:
"To enable valid and transparent assessments of sustainable development scenarios by providing an improved scientific understanding of the behaviour and impacts of pollutants in the urban environment"
This will be achieved through the development of a decision-support framework capable of integrating the three critical steps defined by the consortium partners:
- Mapping the sources and flows of pollutants associated with human activities in the urban environment
- Modelling the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment
- Identifying and quantifying the impacts of pollutants on human and ecological health in the urban environment.
The PUrE framework will consist of three levels for problem analysis: Simple, Generic and Detailed.
Forest Research is responsible for the development of the Ecological Impacts Assessment framework within the overall framework and software platform.
We are involved with three aspects of the overall project:
- Core project
- Demonstration of the PUrE framework for mixtures of pollutants
- Development of models for detailed problem analysis.
This aims to establish the initial levels of the framework. These Generic and Simple levels will concentrate on the use of datasets and simple vegetation uptake models for the assessment of risk to terrestrial ecosystem receptors.
Demonstration of the PUrE framework for mixtures of pollutants
This will demonstrate steps 1 and 2 of the PUrE framework using particulate pollution as a case study, and will provide data for subsequent model development and validation.
Forest Research is responsible for assessing both the impacts of particulate pollution on terrestrial ecological receptors and the potential for using trees and other vegetation to intercept particles from air thus improving urban air quality.
Development of models for detailed problem analysis
This will develop the more detailed levels of the framework (Simple and Detailed). It will concentrate on the use of models to predict food-chain transfer of pollutants in terrestrial urban ecosystems.
Funders and partners
The PUrE consortium is funded by:
Members of the consortium include:
- Cardiff University
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- University of Exeter
- University of Manchester
- University of Sheffield
- University of Surrey
Members of the Steering Commitee include:
- Building Research Establishment
- Environment Agency
- Golder Associates
- Health Protection Agency
- Scotland & Northern Ireland Forum for Environmental Research
- Scottish Environmental Protection Agency
- UK Water Industry Research Limited
This research began in 2005 and is due for completion in 2009.