Does the highway next to a local shopping mall impacts its air quality?

Pollution levels are always changing, and high pollution events are becoming more common in the world. According to Statistics Finland, Finland was showed that the number of households that use cars has increased, there are around 70,000 more households than in 2012. Urbanzee is an air quality data provider. We drive studies around the Cities to provide information on the impact of air pollution in Finland.

As a way of testing our equipment we measured the Shopping Center Skanssi, on the edge of Turku, located next to the highway to Helsinki. We used a backpack with sensors to walk the area to get a detailed view of the air quality, and this second time we specifically walked over the bridge across the highway.

Map view 1 First measurement 29th of January 2018, 17:35 – 18:35
Map view 2, Second measurement by walking, 18th of March 2018 18:49 – 21:56

The first measurement (map view 1) took place on the 10th of February and the second (map view 2) was carried out in mid March. Areas in yellow and orange show some pollution, according to the Air Quality Index (AQI), there may be a moderate health concern for people sensitive to air pollution, but only in the long term. We found that the air pollution concentrations differed compared to the previous map, but interestingly it was in both cases in the same area around the garage entrance to the shopping mall.

Air quality fluctuations are common. It can change by the hour, or due to weather, with large variations in quality even from neighborhood to neighborhood. Traffic is a part of why air quality fluctuates: the higher the traffic density, the higher the air pollution might be.
This small test allowed for meaningful comparisons. Our limited findings show the Highway near to Skanssi had no significant effect even with ongoing construction nearby. But this test is too small to be conclusive, a longer study by UrbanZee will be needed to draw any firm conclusions.

Urbanzee aims to deliver a more accurate picture of local air quality, helping you be informed about your neighborhood, we want to inform you about potential health problems, and show you the cleanest places to spend your time.