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Title: Development and application of a simulated urban system for geographical studies of environmental health
Author: Fecht, Daniela
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 267X
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
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Urban areas are highly dynamic and diverse systems and the interactions and networks within an urban area are, at present, only partly understood, although some of the most important impacts on human health occur in these areas. It is essential, therefore, to develop a deeper understanding of these urban dynamics and processes especially with regard to exposure and health risk assessment. This thesis describes the development and application of an urban SImulation for ENvironmental health Analysis (SIENA). SIENA provides a controlled, simplified urban environment to develop and test spatial epidemiological concepts and models, to simulate processes and interactions relating to environmental exposure and to explore theoretical and methodological problems in the spatial analysis of environmental health. The development of the simulated urban system focuses on identifying and quantifying fundamental processes and inter-dependencies in the structure of urban areas in Great Britain. Twelve cities are chosen as sample cities and their spatial data structure (topography, transport network, land cover) and relationships between these structures and the urban population are statistically analysed. Based on the results of the statistical analysis SIENA is developed within a Geographic Information System (GIS) using probabilistic models and spatial analysis tools. Beside the identified core structure, topography, transport network, land cover and population, additional data such as traffic flow, air pollution monitoring networks or emissions from industrial sources amongst others are modelled and incorporated into SIENA. To demonstrate the potential of the simulation, SIENA is applied in two case studies both focusing on the misclassification of human exposure to urban air pollution. The first case study explores the representativeness of various air pollution monitoring networks and the resulting implications for exposure assessments. For the second case study, personal exposure is simulated within SIENA and then compared to the use of a location-based exposure proxy and the potential exposure misclassification spatially analysed.
Supervisor: Briggs, David ; Beale, Linda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral