The Spatial Determinants Of air Quality

Authored by: Enda Hayes

The Routledge Handbook Of Planning For Health And Well-Being

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138023307
eBook ISBN: 9781315728261
Adobe ISBN: 9781317542407


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Our atmosphere is essential for life on earth. It protects us from solar and cosmic rays, with the ozone layer shielding us from ultraviolet radiation; it acts as a ‘greenhouse’, regulating the temperature of the earth; and it provides a transportation mechanism for water, pollen and other propagules. Most importantly, the atmosphere sustains life by providing ‘air’ for humans, animals and plants to breathe. Despite these, and other essential services, the atmosphere is consistently taken for granted. In recent centuries, the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated rapidly primarily due to human activities. Energy generation, industrial productivity, road transport, domestic heating and cooking in our towns and cities all contribute to poor urban, national and international air quality and subsequently affect our health and the services our ecosystem provides.

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