Baseline Monitoring for Determining the Effects of Streetscaping on Particulate Matter Concentrations in the Downtown Area of Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Anthropogenic sources of air pollution in cities primarily originate from automobile traffic. Understanding the extent of air pollution from traffic is important for how governments plan cities, and for maximizing the benefits to human health and the environment. The main objectives of this project were to design an appropriate sampling strategy to measure air quality, to collect baseline data of air pollution concentrations from Spring Garden Road (SGR), Sackville Street (SVS) and Morris Street (MOS), and to compare pollution data collected among the sampling locations with a reference station monitored by Nova Scotia Environment (NSE). Measurements of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) (μg/m3) and ultrafine particle concentration (count/cm3) were collected at three sites along SGR, SVS and MOS for three time periods, (7am-9am; 11am-1pm; 7pm-9pm) between October 10 and November 4, 2019. Statistically significant differences for particle concentration and PM2.5 levels across sampling locations and time periods were found. PM2.5 levels are significantly greater than those measured at the NSE station for the same months over a five-year period. The PM2.5 levels observed generally are below the Canadian Ambient Air Quality maximum standards of 10 μg/m3. Although the study is limited by temporal and spatial bounds, baseline data on air pollution levels is crucial to determining the impact of road enhancements on urban environments in the future. This air quality study can be repeated after construction is completed with the aim to inform the Halifax Regional Municipality on how to proceed with streetscaping projects in the future.