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RI-URBANS celebrates a Stakeholder Meeting in Poland to discuss the status of the project and needs

A total of 37 participants from 23 institutions gathered to inform about the ongoing work The RI-URBANS Polish Stakeholder Meeting took place in a hybrid format on 23rd February 2023 at the Institute of Geophysics, Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw. The Polish stakeholders represented 23 institutions, including 16 institutions with representatives in person (20 persons) and 9 institutions online (11 persons). In addition to Polish stakeholders, in this meeting also 6 representatives of the RI-URBANS and the ATMO-ACCESS projects have participated (online) and 1 in person. “This meeting arises from the need for collaborative and complementary work between the key players in relation to RI-URBANS’ goals in a consolidated way”, declared Iwona Stachlewska, co-leader of Task 5.4 in WP5 of RI-URBANS. The summary of the Stakeholder Meeting can be read in the corresponding Milestone 35 (M5.7): CHECK OUT MILESTONE 35 (M5.7)   The presentations from the Stakeholder Meeting are freely accessible: DOWNLOAD THE PRESENTATIONS

By |2023-03-14T11:21:22+00:00March 14, 2023|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS and ACTRIS send recommendations for the revision of the European directive on air quality

Both projects have provided feedback on the proposal for reviewing the EC Air Quality Directive published on 26th October 2022 The recommendations include seeking more synergies and interoperability between existing infrastructures, maintaining the list of non-regulated pollutants, and defining operating procedures and protocols for the new pollutants As part of the European Green Deal, the EU is revising the air pollution standards to align them more closely with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. In the Commission adoption, both RI-URBANS and ACTRIS have sent a document with recommendations for the proposal review of the EC Air Quality (AQ) Directive. All feedback received will be summarised by the European Commission and presented to the European Parliament and Council with the aim of feeding into the legislative debate. RI-URBANS and ACTRIS recognise that there is a willingness to extend the AQ directive to currently non-regulated pollutants, which may be very relevant for the future development of AQ regulations, the evaluation of the impacts of air pollution on health, the better evaluation of the effects of AQ policies, and ultimately to the well-being of European citizens. Specifically, RI-URBANS and ACTRIS value positively that: UFP, PNSD, BC, OP, NH3 and PM speciation have been included, as well as the listed PAHs and an extended list of VOCs, in addition to other regulated pollutants; a network of European super-sites is proposed to be created with similar objectives to the one established, with extremely good results, in the US by the US-EPA, to support environmental and scientific policy studies; this is a timely proposal given the currently ongoing developments within ACTRIS and RI- URBANS to demonstrate the added value of observing the non-regulated pollutants for AQ management and the development and testing of innovative tools for AQ monitoring in relation to human health   The feedback provided by RI-URBANS and ACTRIS is summarised in the following points: Recommendation #1: It is fundamental to seek synergies with the existing infrastructure in place and ACTRIS in particular. Recommendation #2: Maintain the provisional list of non-regulated pollutants in the new directive and add the provision of information on the aerosol vertical profile to be monitored at supersites. Recommendation #3: Capitalise, whenever possible, from the measurement metrology outcome from past and current projects, in particular from ACTRIS-1, ACTRIS-2, and RI-URBANS in order to ensure implementation of the most suited operating procedures and interoperability between observations performed by all networks in Europe and beyond. Recommendation #4: Advance with the scientific community to define the standard operating procedures for the new pollutants and rely on the already established ACTRIS Topical Centers whenever relevant. Recommendation #5: Propose measurement protocols for VOCs species capitalising on the scientific and technical experience of CEN WG13, AQUILA, and ACTRIS. Recommendation #6: Ensure a high level of interoperability between the data value chain for responding to AQ and Climate policies. Some of these issues could be resolved with a greater interrelationship between DG. Environment and DG. Research. Recommendation #7: Based on the [...]

By |2023-02-16T15:45:52+00:00February 16, 2023|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS launches the intercomparison of oxidative potential protocols

The objective is to harmonise the measurements of most health-relevant oxidative potential protocols and evaluate their potential to assess the toxicological effects of PM10 and PM2.5 A total of 18 groups from Europe, the USA, and Canada participate in the evaluation RI-URBANS has launched the intercomparison of protocols for most health-relevant oxidative potential assays among various research groups to harmonise its measurements. The objective is to evaluate if oxidative potential can be an additional metric to assess the potential toxicological effects of PM10 and PM2.5, in relation to particulate matter components and their source contributions. "It’s a first harmonization step needed to properly assess the relevance of oxidative potential to human health", explains french researcher Gaëlle Uzu, leader of the task (CNRS/IRD).  The CNRS/IRD research team has carried out the intercomparison protocol. From left to right: Rhabira El Azzouzi (engineer), Pamela Dominutti (post-doc RI-URBANS), Camille Rak (assistant engineer), Takoua Madhbi (engineer), Gaëlle Uzu (research director). Source: Gaëlle Uzu.   Mass is not an unequivocal metric for the health impact of particulate matter and additional parameters are needed to describe associated toxicity. One key parameter that drives particulate matter toxicity is its capacity to carry or induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the lung, disrupting its natural redox balance and causing inflammatory effects. The oxidative potential of aerosols can be defined as the capacity of particulate matter for generating reactive oxygen species in vivo. There are several available methodologies of oxidative potential (dithiothreitol, ascorbic acid, glutathione, among others), but they do not always correlate well with each other, as they are driven by different oxidizing species, as are our different lung anti-oxidant categories. In this protocol, the measurements will be intercompared for the most common oxidative potential assay. To accomplish this task, Gaëlle Uzu’s team, from the French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (CNRS/IRD), has sent the samples and reactants to the participating groups today. From the data of receipt, the results can be sent back within one month to avoid ageing processes. The intercomparison of oxidative potential relies on: Simplified oxidative potential dithiothreitol protocol for everyone + all home protocols allowed A total of 4 samples will be tested in triplicate (reference compounds and atmospheric particulate matter) 18 research groups are participating: 13 groups are from the EU region (Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK); 3 from the USA; and 2 from Canada Anonymous and authoritative data treatment will be done by the Joint Research Center (JRC) in the spring, and it is estimated that results will be released in September 2023. The technician Camille Rak performing homogenisation tests to check the stability of the samples before shipment. Source: Gaëlle Uzu

By |2023-01-17T09:17:41+00:00January 17, 2023|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Service Tools are set up to provide near-real time source apportionment of carbonaceous matter

RI-URBANS Service Tools provide near real-time information on submicron organic aerosols and black carbon source apportionment  The demonstration will be tested in the pilot cities of the project during 2023 RI-URBANS has published a report describing the establishment of near-real time source apportionment Service Tools for submicron organic aerosols and black carbon. The work has been carried out by researchers from INERIS, together with CNRS-LSCE, AERIS-Icare, and Datalystica, as part of Task 1.2 of the project: development and implementation of advanced source apportionment Service Tools. Carbonaceous particles, including organic aerosols and black carbon, represent a substantial part (typically, in the range of 40-80%) of fine particulate matter in urban environments. Dataflow to be used in RI-URBANS for Black Carbon and Organic Aerosol near-real time source apportionment. Source: INERIS & co-workers At ACTRIS national facilities, their in-situ high-time resolution monitoring is usually conducted using aerosol chemical speciation monitors (ACSM) and multi-wavelength aethalometer (AE33), for organic aerosols and black carbon respectively. In the last decades, research activities allowed to development of novel methodologies to identify and quantify the main sources of carbonaceous aerosols measured using these two types of instruments. “Our task within RI-URBANS was to implement these methodologies at a centralised server to demonstrate their ability to be operated in near-real time and gain knowledge on the sources”, explains Olivier Favez, researcher at INERIS and first author of the report. RI-URBANS researchers evaluated and applied the most suited source apportionment receptor models for operational applications, considering previous work in FAIRMODE, EMEP, and COLOSSAL. The document provides pilot functionalities, with operational requirements of the source apportionment software and data transfer/formatting Service Tools for the novel near real-time source apportionment of non-refractory aerosols and black carbon measurements data products, for modelling Service Tools (within the RI-URBANS Work Package 3), pilot applications (Work Package 4) and upscaling activities (Work Package 5). These Service Tools can be found in the corresponding Deliverable D4 (D1.4): CHECK OUT THE SERVICE TOOLS  

By |2023-01-10T08:51:04+00:00January 10, 2023|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Open call for abstracts to the RI-URBANS-led session in the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in April 2023

RI-URBANS leads the session 'Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in the European Urban & Industrial Areas' within the EGU General Assembly on 23-28 April 2023.  The call for abstracts for the session is now open until 10 January 2023.  Taking place on 23-28 April, the European General Union (EGU) General Assembly 2023 will bring together geoscientists from all over the world for a hybrid meeting covering all disciplines in the Earth, planetary, and space sciences. The RI-URBANS members Tuukka Petäjä, Xavier Querol, and Marjan Savadkoohi will act as conveners of the session: AS5.17 Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban & Industrial AreaS (RI-URBANS). This session provides an overview of RI-URBANS that develops Service Tools from atmospheric Research Infrastructures data that can address the challenges and societal needs concerning air quality in European cities and industrial hotspots. Here we will showcase synergies between Air Quality Monitoring Networks and Resarch Infrastructures in the atmospheric domain and combine advanced science knowledge and innovative technologies. A specific focus is placed upon ambient nanoparticles and atmospheric particulate matter, their sizes, constituents, source contributions and gaseous precursors. We will provide novel insights into novel air quality parameters, source contributions, and their associated health effects to demonstrate the European added value of implementing the new service tools. The results builds on existing initiatives for advanced research-driven air quality observations at supersites from European cities with five implemented pilots in 9 cities. The RI-URBANS complies with FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) data sharing principles. We explore upscaling and sustainability to the new air quality observations via interoperable services, using advanced instrumentation, modelling, source apportionment, integrated citizens observatories and mobile measurements. The call of abstract for this session is now open until 10 January 2023, 13:00 CET. Abstract submission   When submitting the abstract, look for AS - Atmospheric Sciences and the code of the session is AS5.17 EDI Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban & Industrial AreaS (RI-URBANS).                

By |2022-11-03T12:55:48+00:00November 3, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS celebrates its 1st Science Meeting in Barcelona updating on the progress of the project

A total of 150 participants from 63 institutions gathers to inform about the ongoing work The project has achieved several milestones in data collection, pilot studies, and cooperation with other European research infrastructures RI-URBANS participants met last week in the 1st Science Meeting of the project in Barcelona. A total of 84 onsite and 66 online participants from 63 institutions attended the meeting, together with representatives from the World Health Organization, European Commission, and other European research infrastructures. “RI-URBANS is progressing well. The project is now obtaining results of great interest, especially in the compilation of data on ultrafine particles, black carbon, and chemical combustion of aerosols”, declares Xavier Querol, coordinator of the project and CSIC researcher.   RI-URBANS coordinators Tuukka Petäja and Xavier Querol, explaining the RI-URBANS project report. Source: Alicia Arroyo (CSIC)   During its first year, RI-URBANS has reached several milestones that were highlighted during the meeting: Compilation of existing urban datasets on advanced air pollutants, such as ultrafine particles-PNSD, BC, online and offline PM speciation, NH3, and VOCs. Interpretation of these datasets to show that the application for air quality management started and it is very advanced for ultrafine particles and BC (close to submitting results for publication). Publication of the most updated European inventory of anthropogenic emissions that include ultrafine particles and non-exhaust vehicle particulate matter emissions (link). All city pilots are designed and most of them are already operating (link). Others will start in 2023, as planned. Several cities, such as Budapest, Marseille, Mülheim, Langen, Dresden, Leipzig, Lille, and London, which are not officially part of the project, are providing data to RI-URBANS Strategies to submit data of the advanced air quality datasets to ACTRIS-EBAS are devised and ready to be implemented. “We have also obtained very relevant results in terms of regional and urban scale modeling of advanced air quality parameters”, declares Tuukka Petäjä, RI-URBANS coordinator and researcher at the University of Helsinki. From left to right: Spyros Pandis (FORTH), Xavier Querol (CSIC) and Román Pérez Velasco (WHO); Tuukka Petäjä (UHEL) and Mar Viana (CSIC); Matine van Poppel (VITO), Stephan de Roode (Delft University of Technology) and Arnoud Apituley (KNMI). Source: Alicia Arroyo (CSIC) The project is directly connected with ACTRIS (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure) and ICOS (Integrated Carbon Observation System) in terms of the use of service tools, networking supersites, and data management, and a fluent dialogue is stablished with them. Several challenges were also put forward during the meeting. One of them is achieving that air quality monitoring networks apply the service tools developed in RI-URBANS, most of them coming from ACTRIS. Another challenge is to make the data flow smoothly from all air quality stations toward ACTRIS. RI-URBANS already compiled advanced measurements from many stations, but there are some left behind. Efforts should be made to make these harmonised and data public in ACTRIS-EBAS. From left to right: Paolo Laj (ACTRIS) and Augustin Colette (INERIS). Source: Alicia Arroyo (CSIC) [...]

By |2023-03-14T11:22:52+00:00October 28, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS describes a methodology for mobile monitoring and citizen involvement

RI-URBANS publishes a methodology that summarizes complementary approaches to air quality monitoring systems in order to assess air quality for health and epidemiological studies It includes data collection methods for high-resolution exposure mapping, with and without citizen participation Air quality is measured routinely through fixed air quality monitoring stations. These stations include high-quality monitors that fulfill the data quality requirements as set in the European Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC). Whereas a network of these fixed stations gives information on temporal trends of air quality, the network's density is insufficient to give information on air quality at the street level. Some pollutants, especially traffic-related ones (e.g. ultrafine particles, black carbon, nitrogen oxides), can show a very high spatial and temporal variability within a city or neighbourhood. Improved spatiotemporal resolution of air quality data is critical for an improved understanding of the connection between air quality parameters, human exposure, and consequent health effects. Difference between mobile and fixed air quality measurements in terms of monitoring setup and device requirements. Source: Martine van Popple (VITO) The methodology published by RI-URBANS summarizes complementary approaches to traditional air quality monitoring systems in order to assess air quality exposure for health and epidemiological studies, and to assess policy actions at the urban scale. It also includes involving citizens and mechanisms to enroll citizens that can be readily upscaled at European levels. The methodology can be found in the corresponding Deliverable D13 (D2.5): CHECK OUT THE METHODOLOGY  

By |2022-10-07T10:16:19+00:00October 7, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

First dataset of anthropogenic emissions for all relevant pollutants

RI-URBANS publishes the first anthropogenic emission dataset, covering road transport exhaust and non-exhaust emissions and the distribution over Europe and pilot cities. The dataset includes main air pollutants, as well as ultrafine particles. The RI-URBANS project has just published the first dataset of anthropogenic emissions, which has been made available to the project users. The emission inventory comprises both the main air pollutants included in CAMS-REG (CH4, CO, NH3, NMVOC, NOX, SO2, PM10 and PM2.5) as well as ultrafine particles, expressed as particle number emissions. The dataset also provides emissions at a spatial resolution of 6x6km2 over Europe, including the pilot cities. The dataset also includes non-exhaust vehicle particulate matter (those from the brake and tire wear) in the European Emission Inventory. These results can be used by modelers to show the spatial and temporal variability of the pollutants, improve exposure data, and perform sensitivity analyses to evaluate the effect of specific policy actions. Emissions of PM2.5 distributed in space at 6x6 km2 resolution over Europe. The main emission sources are small combustion (mainly residential heating), transport, and industry. Source: Jeroen Kuenen, Antoon Visschedijk, Dick Heslinga (TNO) Developed by the Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research (TNO), the spatially explicit emission inventory used by the air quality modellers at the European scale is enhanced by including improved estimates for road transportation. This makes the inventories for exhaust and for particulate matter from non-exhaust more accurate and consistent. The gridded emissions are now available on TNO's FTP site. To get access, the best option is to use a dedicated FTP client to transfer data after requesting access to TNO's contact point. Protocols and a contact person can be found in the corresponding Milestone M13 (M3.2): CHECK OUT THE DATASET  

By |2022-11-03T12:08:42+00:00September 27, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The RI-URBANS’ pilot on health effects starts in four European cities

RI-URBANS's pilot 4 has been launched in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich to demonstrate the measurement of a series of novel health indicators.    The outcomes will complement existing air quality policy with measures directly targeting emission sources relevant to health.   The RI-URBANS' pilot 4, focused on the health effects of novel air quality metrics, has just started in Athens, Barcelona, Paris, and Zurich. The studies carried out in these large, populated European cities, aim to identify particulate matter components and nanoparticles that could be especially dangerous for human health. These data will be used to evaluate premature mortality and morbidity by cause, gender, and age, and compared with the health outcomes of conventionally measured pollutants.   The pilot includes two steps: Assessment of the health effects related to air quality metrics currently available from the public administrations. This analysis is carried out in all available cities (not only in the 4 pilot cities). Assessment of the health effects related to novel air quality metrics. In this case, the air quality variables include non-regulated pollutants and parameters, such as black carbon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the number concentrations of ultrafine particles, the oxidative potential at the cellular level, etc. If the novel air quality metrics of both short-term and long-term exposures represent a better parameter to assess the impact of air pollution on health, researchers will be able to relate these metrics with health data (mortality and morbidity in each city).  The information provided in this pilot will be relevant for air quality-health policies at the European level. CHECK OUT THE SAMPLING IN HEALTH INDICATOR PILOT CITIES

By |2022-07-05T11:26:13+00:00July 5, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments

RI-URBANS participates in the Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting, organised by the Green Deal Support Office

RI-URBANS attended the first Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting, organised by the EU Green Deal Support Office on June 15, 2022.   An action plan will be developed with other Green Deal projects in order to achieve maximised positive impacts in the long-term future.    On June 15, 2022, RI-URBANS' coordinator and project manager (Xavier Querol and Marta Monge) attended the first edition of the Knowledge and Citizens Working Group meeting. The meeting was organised by the Green Deal Support Office, whose mission is to facilitate the coordination between projects funded under the Horizon 2020 Green Deal Call and maximise their positive impact in the longer term. The first Working Group meeting aimed to bring together all the knowledge and citizens task force projects to get to know each other, identify and prioritise commonalities to propose and create synergies between the projects. In addition, the Working Group meeting also served to start developing the action plan and to advance the identification of key activities. A total of 16 projects attended the meeting: Increase the transformative potential of democratic innovations to address specific topics of the European Green Deal Reshaping citizens’ deliberation for the European Green Deal Advancing behavioural change through an inclusive Green Deal Social sciences and humanities for achieving a responsible, equitable and desirable Green Deal Achieving a new European energy awareness. A European competence framework for low carbon economy and sustainability through education Smart citizen education for a green future Individual change of habits needed for green European transition Co-creating a positive and sustainable lifestyle tool with and for European citizens Wearables and drones for city socio-environmental observations and behavioral change Systemic expansion of territorial circular ecosystems for end-of-life foam A frontrunner approach to systemic circular, holistic & inclusive solutions for a new paradigm of territorial circular economy Pilot applications in urban landscapes Research infrastructures services reinforcing air quality monitoring capacities in European urban & industrial areas Integrated digital framework for comprehensive maritime data and information services     Their common focus is to strengthen citizens' awareness of their own role as actors of change, promoting inclusive and participatory approaches to decision and policymaking at the local and national levels to address climate change challenges and propose transdisciplinary approaches to behavioural change.   During the event, there were joint sessions with several of these projects. The European Commission envisaged technical synergies of RI-URBANS with ICOS CITIES / PAUL, CIRCULAR FOAM, and FRONTSH1P projects in terms of providing citizens with information systems and tools to support decision-making in both pollution monitoring and circular economy solutions adoption.   RI-URBANS' coordinator, Xavier Querol, suggested synergies and support to: Engaging RI-URBANS with both Directorates-General for Environment (DG ENV) and for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) of the European Commission Using RI-URBANS' tools, developed within the Work Package 2, for citizen science Linking the pilot studies of different projects that are simultaneously carried [...]

By |2022-06-28T10:23:28+00:00June 28, 2022|newspost, Uncategorized|0 Comments
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