Our “Lungs of the City” set-up was temporarily removed from the City Hall Square (Stadhuisplein) in Eindhoven on Monday, April 9th. Initially, the trial would last until the end of April. Due to unforeseen legal procedures during the initial phase of the project, it was not possible to conduct the trial within the predetermined period. The trial will resume in May.

The “Lungs of the City” set-up at the Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven.

Lungs of the City

Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CDF), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) analyzes the effect of the air purification systems on the City Hall Square. The systems clean the air from the parking garage and release clean air into the city. City Hall Square was chosen as the location for this project because people are exposed to an excessive amount of air pollution in the city center, especially in the vicinity of busy traffic roads, parking garages, tunnels and street canyons. The goal of this project is to validate the airflow simulations with actual measurements. Ultimately, this study contributes to the improvement of air quality in urban areas.

How has the research been conducted so far?

According to Professor Bert Blocken of Building Physics (TU/e & KU Leuven), the first results confirm the research hypotheses: “The concentrations of particulate matter are significantly increased in and near the parking garage; up to four times the concentration in the city center. In the city center, the concentrations of particulate matter are often higher than the threshold values, of which the WHO itself states that they are too high”, says Blocken. “The air purification systems work as expected: 70% of PM10 and 40% of PM2.5 are eliminated from the parking garage air, before the air is discharged into the city. On average, the PM2.5 concentrations in the city center are 80% higher than permitted. The majority of the fine dust particles is very small. During the first measurement period, PM1 accounted for more than 80%. This is very disturbing, because these particles reach deep into the body and can cause permanent damage.”

The “Lungs of the City” set-up was temporarily removed from the Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven on Monday, April 9th.

Interest

Air pollution is a societal problem that affects all of us. For that reason, government agencies have a vested interest in finding solutions. The CFD model of the TU/e and the ENS Urban air purification system provide a solution for urban areas with high concentrations of air pollution. “The air purification systems eliminate 70% of the PM10 from the heavily polluted air before it is released on the City Hall Square” says Roel Gijsbers (ENS Urban).

The “Lungs of the City” project in Eindhoven is an initiative of a consortium consisting of the municipality of Eindhoven, Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), environmental innovation company ENS Urban, and Air Liquide.