21st International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution3 - 5 June 2013
The 21st International Conference on Modelling, Monitoring and Management of Air Pollution has taken place in Siena, Italy organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology and the University of the West of England. The conference took place in La Certosa di Pontignano, a unique old monastery in the outskirts of Siena which now belongs to the University, and has been renovated and converted into a conference centre.
The historic city of Siena is located in the beautiful region of Tuscany. Self-contained behind its fortified walls, the attractive cityscape rises at the meeting point of three hills. The focal point of city life is the spectacular Piazza del Campo, its fan-like shape fitting the natural slope of the ground, surrounded by renaissance Palazzos and restaurants. This provides a splendid backdrop for the Corsa del Palio, a fast and furious bareback horse race held twice a year dating back to the 15th Century.
This successful international conference builds upon the prestigious outcome of the 20 preceding conferences, beginning with Monterey, Mexico in 1993 and most recently held in A Coruña, Spain in 2012. These meetings have attracted outstanding contributions from leading researchers from around the world.
The papers submitted for presentation and included in the conference proceedings are permanently stored in the Wessex Institute library as WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (http://library.witpress.com/). These collected papers provide an important record of the development of science and policy pertaining to air pollution. Undoubtedly the series has filled a significant need and the fact that it continues to grow meeting the demands of the discerning conference audience is testimony of the quality of the science and policy presented at the meetings.The twenty one conferences in this series have discussed and considered many important air pollution issues and the highly international nature of the attendees has ensured that the conference findings and conclusions enjoy a wide and rapid dissemination amongst the air pollution science and policy communities. Air pollution issues remain one of the most challenging problems facing the international community. The series has demonstrated the wide spread nature of the air pollution phenomena and has explored in depth the impacts of air pollution on human health and environment.
The conference series has consistently acknowledged that science remains the key to identifying the nature and scale of air pollution impacts and reaffirmed that science is essential in the formulation of policy for regulatory decision-making. The series also recognised, at a very early stage, that science alone will not improve a polluted atmosphere. The scientific knowledge derived from well designed studies needs to be allied with further technical and economic studies in order to ensure cost effective and efficient mitigation. In turn, the science, technology and economic outcomes are necessary but not sufficient. Increasingly, the conference series has recognised that the outcome of such research needs to be contextualised within well formulated communication strategies that help policy makers and citizens to understand and appreciate the risks and rewards arising from air pollution management. Consequently, the series has enjoyed a wide range of high quality papers that develop the fundamental science of air pollution and an equally impressive range of presentations that places these new developments within the frame of mitigation and management of air pollution.
The conference was opened by Professor Jim Longhurst, Co-Chair of the meeting who referred to its history. He also encouraged the participants to appreciate the unique environment of La Certosa, including the frescos in its church and the beautiful gardens.
Carlos A Brebbia spoke afterwards about the aims of the Wessex Institute of Technology in disseminating information at international level. WIT has also developed unique research capabilities giving rise to computer packages now used by industry, particularly the boundary element software tools for problems such as the analysis of electrical fields, fracture mechanics and many others.Carlos also described the policy of WIT Press in publishing an increasing number of books, including conference proceedings every year. This output which is produced in digital as well as hard cover format is disseminated across academia and industry. The tendency is for all research and technical publications to be fully digital in a few years time and WIT Press wants to be a major player in this new panorama.
Carlos ended by explaining the new developments that have taken place in the Campus of WIT, located in the New Forest National Park. The emphasis, Carlos said, is in improving the facilities rather than increasing the number of researchers on site. WIT relies on an ever increasing international network of academics who constantly collaborate with the research and training activities of the Institute. This and the widespread use of the modern communication tools give WIT the potential to respond to the needs of industry as well as pursuing training at an advanced level.
Carlos concluded by thanking the participants for being at the conference and hoping that they will consider visiting the Institute campus in the near future.
Keynote AddressesJim Longhurst gave a keynote presentation entitled ‘A critique of the local air quality management process in the UK’, referring amongst other topics to the costs in human health of Air Pollution. This is a recent theme in historical terms but one that society does not fully recognise. The Clean Air Act following the major 1952 Great Smog helped to improve conditions for a while but the continuous growth in traffic aggravated the problem since then. Nowadays authorities in the UK have adopted Air Quality Management plans related to public experience. The main problem is that the resulting action plans are not working as regional authorities are unable or unwilling to fully implement the plans. Sometimes a very low priority is afforded to air quality.
In addition to Jim Longhurst, a series of keynote addresses by well know colleagues were delivered, ie
- ‘Temporal and spatial distribution of mutagenic index of PM10 collected at Bangkok, Thailand’ by Siwatt Pongpiachan, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand
- ‘Air quality modelling and cost-benefit analysis’ by Paolo Zannetti, Envirocomp, USA
- ‘Increasing carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere: what negative effects this has on biosphere and mankind’ by Francesco Patania, University of Catania, Italy
- ‘Mapping anthropogenic and natural volatile organic compounds around Estarreja Chemical Industrial Complex’ by Myriam Lopes, University of Aveiro, Portugal
- ‘Air quality study for Montenegro Pljevlja area’ by Carlo Trozzi
- ‘Chemical characterization of gaseous species from the pyrolysis process using scrap tyres’ by Suwichien Pongnailert, National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand
- ‘Airborne exposure in urban environments are socio-spatially distributed: the example of Berlin’ by Ulrich Franck, Helmoltz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
The papers presented at the conference and published in the book were classified as follows:
- Air pollution modelling
- Monitoring and measuring
- Aerosols and particles
- Emission studies
- Regional studies
Special Session on Air Pollution Problems in Thailand
A special session on Air Pollution problems in Thailand was organised by Siwatt Pongpiachan of National Institute of Development Administration, Thailand. It consisted, in addition to his above mentioned keynote address, of the following outstanding presentations:
- ‘Chemical characterization of gaseous species from the pyrolysis process using scrap tyres’
- ‘Enhancing public participation in air pollution management from coal-fired power plant projects in Thailand’
- ‘Application of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) to alleviate air pollution and the other impacts from power plant development’
- ‘Factors affecting the implementation of government air pollution reduction and elimination policy: a case study of Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Rayong Province’
Social OccasionsThe delegates had many opportunities to interact with each other outside the conference sessions, taking advantage of the beautiful cloisters and gardens of La Certosa where they could stroll at pleasure. They also had coffee in a terrace with a landscape view of Siena and lunches in the old Monastery refectory. Some were fortunate to see the baroque interiors of the Church where some outstanding frescos are displayed.
La Certosa is serviced by a bus which the delegates used to visit Siena. In addition, a further night bus service was added by WIT for the delegates who wanted to have dinner in Siena.
The International Scientific Advisory Committee met over dinner hosted by WIT as a show of appreciation for their contribution to the conference. The restaurant prepared excellent regional dishes, accompanied by the outstanding wines by which Tuscany is renowned throughout the world.
The conference dinner took place in a restaurant in Siena renowned by the standards of its Tuscan cuisine. The restaurant has a panoramic view towards the centre of the town. The excellent fare was accompanied by the Chianti wines for which the region is famous throughout the world. A few informal speeches closed the banquet, expressing their satisfaction at the conference technical proceedings as well as the friendly atmosphere surrounding the meeting.
The next Air Pollution conference will take place in Opatija, Croatia from 7-9 July 2014
Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 174 of WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment (ISSN: 1746-448X, Digital ISSN 1743-3541). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at http://library.witpress.com