Theses Master's

Evaluating the Impact of NYC's Open Streets Program on Neighborhood Air Quality in Upper Manhattan

Feng, Yuning

Numerous conversations have been generated around the Open Streets program in New York City regarding its economic and public health benefits ever since the program started in Summer 2020. The program closes streets to cars and uses them for public spaces. The opportunity allows a wide range of programs that have supported economic development and activated open spaces in communities. This study takes this opportunity to collect street level data with high temporal resolution using a combination of black carbon sensor and noise sensor to study the effect of a street closure event on local black carbon concentration. A set of factors are considered as potential sources for either emitting black carbon or mitigating black carbon exposures. Moreover, this study uses the Generalized Additive Model and penalized splines to account for unknown effects from meteorological variables and street canyons. The streets with the Open Streets segment had a measurable decrease in black carbon concentration while their parallel streets without the program did not during active Open Streets program hours, during the study period of March to October in 2021.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Wu, Weiping
Hong, Boyeong
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
January 5, 2022