Engineering solutions to air pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Civil Engineering


WHO data shows that Rio air pollution is considerably worse than UK cities such as Birmingham, with PM10 and PM2.5 levels 2-3 times higher, and this is associated with lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes and asthma amongst the 12 million+ population, with over 5000 excess deaths per year. The State Institute of the Environment (INEA) estimates that 75% of this pollution is road vehicle related and new approaches to environmental management and improvement are desperately required.
This project will apply new low-cost air pollution sensors (being utilised in the ASAP East-Africa project), numerical modelling of city scale pollution (ASAP-East Africa) and novel approaches to urban wind engineering (arising from the EPSRC Urban Winds project) to investigate options for improving Rio air quality.
These tools will inform an in-depth analysis and stakeholder discussion of approaches to change transport infrastructure, green infrastructure and environmental policy across Rio to improve the sustainability, equity and liveability of the city for residents.
This ambitious project is uniquely possible because of the combination of existing contacts and ongoing projects that the potential supervisors have with Rio, combined with the students mix of skills, including language skills, and experience across technical areas of modelling and stakeholder engagement. We would look to build a network of local groups in Rio, though NGOs, to support the work and use it as basis for change in the city, as well as a basis for GCRF and other research funding in the future.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509590/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
2109246 Studentship EP/N509590/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2021 Rhiannon Blake