- Monday, December 16, 2002
- Transport Systems Impact and Air Quality Assessment of Downtown Nablus City
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has started an environmental awareness program addressing the air pollution resulting from transport vehicles in Palestinian cities. However, an evaluation of existing air pollution conditions in these cities does not exist. Furthermore, the Palestinian Ministry of Environment was established few years ago and air quality policies and regulations established by the ministry are still under development.
Traffic congestion is a common problem in the downtown area of major Palestinian cities. The average age of vehicles used in Palestinian cities is much higher than vehicles used in other developed countries. Several related agencies and professionals believe that fuel consumption and fuel emission in these areas resulted from vehicles are problems that can not be ignored. In addition, local fuel price is quite expensive.
This research evaluates the existing air pollution conditions in the downtown area of Nablus City in the West Bank resulted from existing transport systems and traffic congestion. Existing fuel consumption and emission within the downtown street network were estimated using computer simulation. Existing local air quality policies related to vehicle emissions and regulation were also evaluated. Activities related to air quality control by governmental and non-governmental agencies will be surveyed and evaluated.
There are several air quality management policies and transportation control measures used worldwide. The applicability of congestion mitigation and air quality management policies by international and regional agencies to Palestinian cities were evaluated. Interviews with Ministry of Environment and transport authority officials will be conducted to assess the practical aspects of applying any of these policies for Palestinian cities.
The research will present practical recommendations in the form of transportation control measures, traffic management, policies and regulations, and awareness programs that will improve the adverse air quality impacts of existing transport systems in Palestinian cities in general and Nablus City in particular. The impact of some of these recommendations on air quality will be quantified.