Deciphering urban traffic impacts on air quality by deep learning and emission inventory

Yang Wang , Wenjie Du , Lianliang Chen , Haoran Wang , Ziyang Shan , Zhengyang Zhou , Wenwei Li


Received August 29, 2021,Revised , Accepted December 19, 2021, Available online January 04, 2022

Volume 35,2023,Pages 745-757

Air pollution is a major obstacle to future sustainability, and traffic pollution has become a large drag on the sustainable developments of future metropolises. Here, combined with the large volume of real-time monitoring data, we propose a deep learning model, iDeepAir, to predict surface-level PM2.5 concentration in Shanghai megacity and link with MEIC emission inventory creatively to decipher urban traffic impacts on air quality. Our model exhibits high-fidelity in reproducing pollutant concentrations and reduces the MAE from 25.355 µg/m3 to 12.283 µg/m3 compared with other models. And identifies the ranking of major factors, local meteorological conditions have become a nonnegligible factor. Layer-wise relevance propagation (LRP) is used here to enhance the interpretability of the model and we visualize and analyze the reasons for the different correlation between traffic density and PM2.5 concentration in various regions of Shanghai. Meanwhile, As the strict and effective industrial emission reduction measurements implementing in China, the contribution of urban traffic to PM2.5 formation calculated by combining MEIC emission inventory and LRP is gradually increasing from 18.03% in 2011 to 24.37% in 2017 in Shanghai, and the impact of traffic emissions would be ever-prominent in 2030 according to our prediction. We also infer that the promotion of vehicular electrification would achieve further alleviation of PM2.5 about 8.45% by 2030 gradually. These insights are of great significance to provide the decision-making basis for accurate and high-efficient traffic management and urban pollution control, and eventually benefit people's lives and high-quality sustainable developments of cities.

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