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Air pollution in Beijing, China Engineering Assignment (Essay Sample)




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Table of Contents TOC \o "1-3" \h \z \u CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION PAGEREF _Toc492297022 \h 31.1 Background and significance of the study PAGEREF _Toc492297023 \h 31.2. Research Focus and Scope PAGEREF _Toc492297024 \h 51.2.1 Brief description of that urban landscape’s contribution concerning air pollution PAGEREF _Toc492297025 \h 61.2.2. Existence and threats of air pollution in China, Focusing on Beijing PAGEREF _Toc492297026 \h 61.3. Research Aim and Objectives PAGEREF _Toc492297027 \h 91.4 Research Rationale and Risks PAGEREF _Toc492297028 \h 101.5. Thesis Organization PAGEREF _Toc492297029 \h 11CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW PAGEREF _Toc492297030 \h 202.2.1 Urban Landscape in Environment PAGEREF _Toc492297031 \h 282.2.2 Waterfront Landscape in Environment PAGEREF _Toc492297032 \h 292.2.3 City Park’s Landscape in Environment PAGEREF _Toc492297033 \h 29CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY PAGEREF _Toc492297034 \h 403.1. Statement of purpose PAGEREF _Toc492297035 \h 403.2 Research Philosophy and Approach PAGEREF _Toc492297036 \h 413.3 Case Study Focusing on Beijing PAGEREF _Toc492297037 \h 423.4 Data Collection and Mix Method Analysis PAGEREF _Toc492297038 \h 513.5. Time Horizon PAGEREF _Toc492297039 \h 573.6 Summary PAGEREF _Toc492297040 \h 58CHAPTER 4: DATA ACQUISITION AND ANALYSIS PAGEREF _Toc492297041 \h 59CHAPTER 5: RECOMMENDATIONS PAGEREF _Toc492297042 \h 625.2 Landscape Contribution-Human Being’s Perspective PAGEREF _Toc492297043 \h 625.3 Landscape contribution-Eco system’s perspective PAGEREF _Toc492297044 \h 63CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION PAGEREF _Toc492297045 \h 64Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc492297046 \h 65
1.1 Background and significance of the study
The quality of air in the capital city of China, Beijing, is a great cause for concern for the health and wellbeing of people as well as the entire environment. In fact, so dire is the situation in the country that the effects of the extreme levels of the pollution are seen in the city’s architecture. The country’s architects are now reconfiguring the city’s buildings and spaces as well as the daily routines so that the people in the city can normally go on with their lives in spite of the toxic effects.
The use of face masks is common here and has been in use for a long time. Today, however, the people of Beijing have gone a notch higher in using the heavy type of masks that have purification canister filters in order to further filter the air they breathe due to the high rates of pollution. It is common as well to find bicycle lanes empty on bad days as people retreat to the air-conditioned environments where the air is cleaner such as the hermetically sealed malls. One British school, in efforts to ensure a clean environment for its students, went into the lengths of building an artificial bubble that would simulate a normal environment beneath the smog. Many other schools and colleges such as the International School of Beijing and the Dulwich College have built domes of clean air for their students in order to escape the harshness of the polluted air in the capital.
The above illustrations are only examples of the extent of air pollution in the world’s most populous country. The people of China, and Beijing in particular, continue to suffer the effects of such high rates of pollution that the phenomenon has caught the eye of international bodies. Further studies have also indicated possibility of a relationship between the urban landscape and the high rates of pollution, and they also proposed that a solution to the air pollution may lie in the city’s urban landscape setting (Reycraft, 2000). However, there is no sufficient information on this relationship. In particular, there is inadequate information to explain what aspects of a city’s urban landscape contribute to air pollution and as such, what specific interventions should be taken in order to reduce the pollution. This study, therefore, was significant to the course of air pollution in Beijing by identifying the specific factors in a city’s urban landscape that contribute to air pollution. Various forms of urban landscapes, including waterfronts, were explored and the findings were used to inform the decisions that should be taken by policy makers in order to reduce air pollution. Besides, this information can be replicated and applied in other cities apart from Beijing to lead to a cleaner world and the environment in general.
1.2. Research Focus and Scope
The scope of this research was to explore the issue of air pollution in the city of Beijing. The research would also determine the extent to which landscape is a contributing factor to air pollution. In relation to this, the research explored possible ways through which landscape environment can be tailored in order to offer a solution to the problem of air pollution in the city. To achieve this, the research, among other things, explored the concepts of urban landscape and the environment, waterfront landscape and the environment, city park’s landscape and the environment, the component of air pollution in the construction of a city, and how the future of the city is likely to change with regard to the need for clean air. The research explored these elements in as far as they concern the status of air pollution in the city. Through a research inquiry, these findings will be able to provide the researcher with responses to the areas of concern.
The research did not focus on other external factors that may be contributing factors to Beijing’s state of air pollution, such as governmental regulations and any other regulations in the building and construction industry. Rather, the research only focused on how architectural landscape in the past and in the present and even in the future will play a role in enhancing the state of the city’s air pollution or improving the status in order to achieve a cleaner environment than it is today.
1.2.1 Brief description of that urban landscape’s contribution concerning air pollution
Studies have revealed that landscape can have effects on the concentration of PM2.5 in the environment. The landscape can also affect other class-level metrics (Reinhard, 1985b). The landscape of an area or location determines a lot about the presence or absence of PM2.5, which is the major pollutant factor in this case. Landscape involves various components including the buildings on land and how they are structured and positioned in a given location. Besides, other activities associated with urban centres, including construction and building processes, emit a lot of substance to the environment, which can affect the quality of air.
1.2.2. Existence and threats of air pollution in China, Focusing on Beijing
Air pollution in China and more specifically in Beijing is a major phenomenon that has attracted the attention of world leaders and people all over the world. The causes of air pollution vary in every city. One major cause is the city’s transport system. Being one of the most populous cities in the world, Beijing residents own millions of cars, most of which use the city roads on a daily basis. These cars emit carbon gases into the environment, which contain PM2.5, which is a major pollutant in the city.
Besides cars and other forms of road transport, the city experiences a high rate of air pollution from industrial activity and waste. Beijing is home to numerous industries that manufacture a wide range of products. These industries emit gases into the air, which are also a major component of PM2.5. In fact, so dire is the issue of industrial emissions that the government of China is making attempts to cap the processes of such industrial activities as a major way of reducing the levels of pollution. Emissions from these industries and factories deplete the ozone layer, and they cause itchiness, shortness of breath, and deterioration of eyesight (Paulsen, 1996). The majority of the factories that emit these gases operate in and outside of Beijing. Many of them are small and mostly illegal and, as a result, they only operate at night in order to avoid the scrutiny of environmental inspectors and other governmental agencies (Ramirez et al., 2003; Ramirez, 1996). The government of Beijing, therefore, must first locate these illegal factories and shut them, and then convince the neighbouring provinces to follow suit.
A third major cause of air pollution in the city is particulates which are emitted from various sources, a major one being from the construction industry. Construction is an ongoing process in the city of Beijing and its neighbouring provinces and the result of such a rigorous process is the emission of particulate matter into the environment. The use of coal in power factories and plants is yet another factor that contributes to the city’s environmental degradation. China’s largest coal mining province, Shanxi, is upwind of Beijing and has mine-mouth power plants as well as coking plants that contribute to the pollution of Beijing’s air environment.
Trucks are banned from the city of Beijing during the day for the purposes of avoiding pollution. However, the trucks compensate for the day-time travel ban, when hundreds of them get to the streets. In fact, studies reveal that Beijing’s pollution rates are worse during the early hours of the morning. Coincidentally, this is the time when illegal factories are finishing their operations and when trucks complete night journeys. This evidence is enough to show that most of the pollution comes from factories and trucks that operate at night and not from cars, most of which travel during the day. Therefore, the number one culp...
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