City air makes you free - as it was once said. Today, unfortunately, it can also make you ill. Air pollution increases the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. On a global average, it reduces people's life expectancy even more than other risk factors, such as smoking. For this reason, cities around the world are working on measures to contribute to better air quality. But which ones promise the greatest success? Should they optimize traffic flow? Or restrict the use of private cars? Should they strengthen public transport? Or rely on e-scooters? Here it is important for those responsible to analyze and evaluate possible measures in advance. On this basis, the most appropriate ones can be selected to protect the health of citizens.
Those responsible face a real challenge: On the one hand, they must reduce emissions. On the other hand, they want to avoid negative effects such as economic losses due to driving bans. It is essential to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of possible measures thoroughly, to consider the needs of the various interest groups and to choose the right traffic planning strategy. Software solutions for traffic planning and simulation help in this process.
Analyzing the current situation
Where is thick air and why? And where is it simply too loud? Software and models make it possible to calculate the pollutant concentrations and noise levels in an area, for example an entire city, in detail. This makes it possible to determine exactly how many inhabitants in which areas are directly affected by air pollution and noise.
What is the best strategy?
How do different measures affect emissions and air quality? How do they influence transport demand or mobility patterns? Are effects on the choice of transport mode to be expected, for example by shifting demand to non-motorized and public transport? Software for traffic planning and simulation can answer these and many other questions. It can also be used to examine very local measures that harmonize traffic flow and reduce the number and intensity of vehicle accelerations.
A look into the future
Not only the current situation can be improved with traffic models and software for traffic planning and simulation. They also help to calculate mobility and transport demand for future scenarios. What about air and noise, for example, when conventional vehicles mixed with electrically powered autonomous shuttles determine urban mobility? Or if more is invested in public transport and safe bicycle and footpaths? The analyses and evaluations by the software provide a scientific basis for deciding on successful strategies.