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Evaluation of health social costs due to urban air pollution caused by residential heating: application to the case study of Turin

Tiziana Binda

Evaluation of health social costs due to urban air pollution caused by residential heating: application to the case study of Turin.

Rel. Stefano Paolo Corgnati, Cristina Becchio, Marta Carla Bottero. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città, 2020

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Nowadays, the concept of outdoor air quality is gaining interest, especially considering the impact that air pollutants have on people's health.This relevance is also clarified by the introduction of the assurance of people’s health and wellbeing as an objective for all countries within the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.Surely, the problem is particularly relevant in the urban context, mainly for two reasons.Firstly, since anthropogenic activities represent one of the main sources of pollutants, urban areas tend to present a higher level of concentration of local air pollutants, rather than rural places. In particular, it was estimated that 30% of all air pollutant emissions come from the heating systems in the building sector. Secondly, according to the United Nations Development Programme, it is expected that the urban population will continue to grow, reaching 6.5 million people by 2050.Due to the significant weight of air pollution on health effects and the high concentration of the people in cities, it is fundamental to include their estimation in urban and economic planning, in order to identify proper solutions to safeguard people and to make the built environment healthier and safer.In doing so, there is the need to identify and provide suitable tools and evaluation methods in support of the decision-making process. In line with this, the research aims to investigate the relation between air pollutants, health, and people in urban environments.The analysis focuses on the city of Turin, with special attention on the air pollutant emissions emitted by residential building sector. In particular, the thesis has two main objectives.On the one hand, the analysis aims to quantify the emissions caused by the residential sector in its current state, using a Reference Building approach, and to identify possible retrofit scenarios, to evaluate which are the most effective actions in order to reduce the current emissions.On the other hand, the thesis wants to explore and quantify the relationship between air pollutants and health; to do this, a review on epidemiological literature was carried out, to identify the main health diseases associated with air pollution exposure and the main metrics used for their quantification. Moreover, a careful review about the most widespread economic evaluation methods was performed, in order to explore which are the most diffused in scientific literature, able to translate these health effects into monetary terms, and thus to provide estimates of the social costs resulting from outdoor air pollution. Starting from the review results, two economic evaluation methods were identified and applied to the case study of the city of Turin, namely the Human Capital Approach (HCA) and the Willingness to Pay (WTP).Based on the results in terms of emissions caused by the use of heating systems for either the current state or the developed retrofit scenarios, these methods were applied to quantify the Cost of Illness (as a sum of the direct, indirect and induced social costs) associated to air pollution.The scenario analysis allowed to identify which could be the renovation options for the urban environment able to guarantee the highest emission reductions and benefits (in terms of social cost reduction).The obtained results can provide possible scientific outcomes, to support and guide a new form of urban planning, able to put people at the center and to include also health and wellbeing aspects

Relators: Stefano Paolo Corgnati, Cristina Becchio, Marta Carla Bottero
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 224
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Architettura Costruzione Città
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-04 - ARCHITECTURE AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/16709
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