S23 Developing an air quality impact index for Camden, New Jersey based on physical and social indicators

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Marcel Briguglio, Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ; and M. R. Cangialosi, A. Kalogiratou, and M. Karimi

The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect contributes to health-related complications in most metropolitan areas. The UHI effect is defined as an urban area that has a higher temperature than the surrounding rural area due to human activities. Many different factors can affect the intensity and impact of the UHI effect including air quality and pollution, building properties, and changes in temperature. The median household income and poverty rate in Camden, NJ indicates that many residents are susceptible to increased mortality rates due to extreme temperatures. The main goal of this paper is to quantify all factors affecting the air quality by developing two indices, an environmental impact risk index, and a social vulnerability index, associated with the urban heat island effect for the city of Camden. Air pollution and UHI effect has been shown to be highly correlated with increasing heat-related mortality rates in urban populations. Previous studies on the UHI effect have been incomplete due to a lack of continuous data sets and low resolution data. This paper uses a combination of high resolution land remote sensing data in addition to weather station data to create the indices. LandSat 8 images from 2016 to 2018 were used to create a surface temperature gradient, and weather stations were placed in hotspots to collect data on air pollution, temperature, and relative humidity in the study area. These indices will help establish a link between the air quality and UHI in metropolitan cities as well as provide beneficial information for hospitals and health officials to target specific areas in the city for more efficient allocation of resources. Efficient allocation of resources will decrease the complications caused by air pollution and the UHI effect.
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