Title: External costs of air pollution generated by road traffic in the Brussels urban area

Authors: Vincent Favrel, Walter Hecq

Addresses: Centre for Economic and Social Studies on the Environment, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Jeanne 44, C.P. 124, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. Centre for Economic and Social Studies on the Environment, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, Avenue Jeanne 44, C.P. 124, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Abstract: This paper presents a methodology for the assessment of the external costs of air pollution caused by road traffic in the Brussels urban area. This methodology is applied to assess different alternative measures towards sustainable mobility. The general approach follows the sequence: human activity → emissions → concentrations → physical impact → external costs. The methodology developed in terms of this sequence consists of three specific modules. Of these, the first module involves the assessment of air pollutant emissions from road traffic and indoor heating, which are the main urban sources of pollution. The second module establishes the relationship between previously calculated emissions and the concentrations of pollutants in the surrounding atmosphere. The third module assesses the damage in physical and monetary terms on the basis of suitable exposure-response functions. The principal effects covered by the evaluation involve the impact on public health and damage to buildings. The external costs caused by road traffic in the Brussels-Capital Region have been calculated for the reference year 1996. The possible benefits of policy options in favour of sustainable transport are also presented.

Keywords: external costs; air pollution; urban traffic; public health; building deterioration; sustainable mobility; emission inventory.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.2001.001958

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 2001 Vol.27 No.1/2/3/4, pp.129-139

Available online: 15 Aug 2003 *

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