CARES at the Air Quality Conference in Milan

November 22, 2022

Preliminary results from the first CARES city demonstration campaign in Milan, which tested over 45,000 vehicles in the fall of 2021 using contactless technologies, were presented at ‘Migliorare la qualità dell’aria per una Milano sana e inclusiva’, a conference held on September 29, 2022 at the opening of the City Environmental Forum (Forum Ambiente) and Milano Green Week. Organized and led by the City of Milan, in cooperation with the Agency for Mobility Environment and Territory (Agenzia Mobilità, Ambiente e Territorio – AMAT), this event brought together a broad swath of stakeholders, including regional agencies for environment, sanitary authorities, universities, research centres, local investors and NGOs.

Representatives from the CARES project showcased the ways in which remote sensing data can be utilized to identify important sources of pollutant emissions and inform policies to improve air quality in Milan. Vehicle emissions data collected by different methods of testing – commercial remote sensing systems, and point sampling – can provide insight into the distribution of vehicle activities in the city and the fleet’s emission performance under real driving conditions. The CARES European research partners, Åke Sjodin (IVL) and Kaylin Lee (ICCT), highlighted how the low-emission zone provides Milan an opportunity to achieve an immediate reduction in vehicle emissions, as old diesel vehicles are responsible for a large fraction of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions in the city. The analysis of the measurements further revealed that vehicles powered by liquefied petroleum gas or compressed natural gas, which are exempt from current regulations, and mopeds and motorcycles also emit significant levels of other pollutant emissions like black carbon, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons.

Efforts to monitor air quality to support local planning and address emissions from on-road transport is on-going in Milan. Currently in Milan, new, innovative near-reference sensors are continuously collecting information alongside sensitive sites to support the implementation of the recently adopted Air Quality and Climate Plan. Measurement of concentration of ambient ammonia, an important precursor of PM10 and a pollutant particularly widespread in Milan, is also underway. The synthesis of such information can provide a scientific basis for effective, evidence-based policies supporting cleaner air for the citizens of Milan.

The CARES project’s goal is to make applications of remote emission sensing more available and accessible for the monitoring and enforcement of vehicle emissions.

Click here to watch the recording of all conference presentations (CARES presentation at 1:00:00).