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Publication: A take-home message from COVID-19 on urban air pollution reduction through mobility limitations and teleworking

Notícia | 17-08-2021

The rigorous traffic limitations during COVID-19 have forced many people to work from home, reaching an outstanding degree of
teleworking and reduction in air pollution. This exceptional situation can be examined as a large-scale pilot test to determine the
potential of improving urban air quality through teleworking. Based on observed traffic reductions during the COVID-19 lockdown
in Barcelona, we formulate socio-occupational scenarios, with various configurations of teleworking, and simulate them using the
chemistry transport model WRF-Chem with multi-layer urban scheme. By intensifying teleworking to 2, 3, and 4 days a week,
averaged NO2 concentrations are reduced by 4% (−1.5 μg m-3), 8% (−3 μg m-3), and 10% (−6 μg m-3), respectively, while O3
increases moderately (up to 3 μg m-3). We propose that teleworking be prioritized and promoted as an effective contribution
towards reduction of long-term urban air pollution and short-term pollution peaks.