The Quality of Urban Air in Barcelona: A New Approach Applying Compositional Data Analysis Methods

Jose Gibergans-Baguena, Carme Hervada-Sala, Eusebi Jarauta-Bragulat


The main goal of this paper is to go some steps further to improve the understanding and manageability of air quality. Quality of atmospheric air in large cities is a matter of great importance because of its impact on the environment and on the health of the population. Recently, measures restricting access of private vehicles to the centre of large cities and other measures to prevent atmospheric air pollution are currently topical. The knowledge of air quality acquires special relevance to be able to evaluate the impact of those great social and economic measures. There are many indices to express air quality. In fact, quite every country has its own, depending on the main pollutants. In general, all indices ignore the compositional nature of the concentrations of air pollutants and do not apply methods of Compositional Data Analysis and have some other weak points such as leak of standardized scale. Therefore, the methodology used is founded on Compositional Data Analysis. The air quality index has an adequate correlation between input (concentrations) and output (air quality index), it distinguishes between air pollution and air quality and it has a 0-100 reference scale which makes easier interpretation and management of air quality expression. To illustrate the proposed method, an application is made to a series of air pollution data (Barcelona, 2001-2015). The results show the effectiveness of the 2008 European directive on ambient air quality.


Air Pollution; Air Quality; Air Quality Index; Health Impact; Compositional Data Analysis; Log-ratio.


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DOI: 10.28991/esj-2020-01215


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