Healthy Cities - LIVING SUSTAINABLY
How can we create healthier cities?
Despite significant improvements in air quality over recent years, air pollution is still a major issue in London. Transport for London (TfL) is using ArcGIS to help it deliver a range of schemes to reduce people’s exposure to harmful emissions and support the Mayor of London’s campaign to create healthy streets.
Everyone who lives, works and goes to school in London is exposed daily to high levels of air pollution. In particular, Londoners come into contact with dangerous levels of particulate matter, the airborne pollutant considered most harmful to human health. Recognising this, TfL is working together with the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on a range of initiatives to clean up the air and create a greener, safer city.
The use of geographic information system (GIS) technology is fundamental to the success of these life-enhancing schemes. Around 2,700 people within TfL and its partners use a decision support tool called Surface Playbook, built on Esri’s ArcGIS software, to analyse climate risks and make better decisions about how, where and when new schemes should be implemented. Surface Playbook was used to inform the introduction of 350 School Streets, a vitally important new programme that restricts traffic to streets near schools at the start and end of school days, when young people are most at risk of exposure to harmful emissions.
TfL has also developed a City Planner Tool using ArcGIS to accelerate the delivery of new schemes to create healthy streets. Planners at TfL – whether they are responsible for rail, underground, road, bus, cycle or pedestrian routes – can query and analyse over 200 data sets and accurately evaluate the potential benefits of different proposals. In the last two years alone, TfL has delivered or begun construction on more than 100km of new or upgraded cycle lanes to help reduce reliance on cars for short journeys. Through healthy street schemes like this, TfL is reducing emissions and improving the quality of life for everyone in London, whether they are commuting to work, going to school or enjoying leisure time in the capital.
“The Mayor of London and TfL are committed to reducing the impact of polluting road vehicles on the lives and health of people in London. The solutions TfL has developed using ArcGIS are helping it achieve this vitally important goal.”
Jaymie Croucher, GIS Lead, Transport for London
To read more inspiring stories of how different organisations and government are using GIS to challenge climate change and make a difference, click here.
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