AIRUSE - Testing and Development of air quality mitigation measures in Southern Europe

LIFE11 ENV/ES/000584

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Xavier Querol
Tel: +34 934 006 100
Fax: +34 932 045 904
Email: xavier.querol@idaea.csic.es

Project description:


Air pollution caused by airborne particulate matter (PM) is a major environmental and human health problem. The EU is moving towards implementation of the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution, through the most recent Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe. Lower limit values for particulate matter in air will come into effect, creating significant challenges for the implementation of effective mitigation measures. A number of urban and industrial areas in Europe are not capable of meeting EU thresholds on airborne PM. Southern European and Mediterranean countries in particular suffer from a combination of diverse emission sources – including industry, traffic and dust intrusions - with a climate characterised by arid conditions – as well as high radiation and photochemical conversion rates – that significantly enhance particle levels in the air. A great deal of improvement can be made with respect to mitigation strategies and competent air quality management. For this it is important not just to monitor ambient air pollutant concentrations, but also to better understand the causes when PM limits are exceeded in specific areas.


The overall goal of the 'AIRUSE' project is to develop, demonstrate and adapt cost-effective and appropriate measures to ensure better air quality in urban areas. It aims to identify the most effective mitigation measures to reduce PM levels to within acceptable limits and thus to contribute to meeting current and future EU targets around air quality. Specific actions to achieve this overall goal include:

  • Harmonising methods for identifying the sources of PM in the air;
  • Determining the relative contribution of different emission sources of PM;
  • Identifying those sources that are responsible for exceeding PM limits in specific areas;
  • Evaluating the effect of current air quality mitigation measures;
  • Developing targeted mitigation measures for the most important and relevant PM sources in Southern European urban areas;
  • Assessing how different mitigation measures impact on PM sources and overall air quality; and
  • Further adapting and optimising targeted mitigation measures.
  • The project thus hopes to identify the most practical and cost-effective strategies for reducing particulate matter in the air in southern European urban areas. This should support and encourage concrete actions to reduce PM exposure levels at local levels and assist national and regional authorities in implementing the “Thematic strategy on Air Pollution” and meeting the requirements of the EU Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC).

    Expected results

  • The demonstration of effective PM mitigation strategies for southern Europe;
  • The achievement of important reductions of PM10 and PM2.5 levels towards the limits set in the Air Quality Directive;
  • Technical guides for implementing the demonstrated mitigation strategies in other regions in southern Europe and beyond; and
  • Improved possibilities for implementing the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution in southern Europe and for meeting current EU limit values for PM concentration levels and stricter PM limits in the future.

  • Results


Environmental issues addressed:


Air & Noise - Air quality monitoring


urban area‚  emission reduction‚  industrial area‚  air pollution‚  information system

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spanish Research Council)
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The coordinating beneficiary is the Spanish National Scientific Research Council (CSIC). It has experts in air quality belonging to the Geosciences Department of the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Studies (IDAEA).
Partners N.C.S.R. Demokritos University of Aveiro Universita di Firenze Asociación de Investigación de las Industrias Cerámicas University of Birmingham


Project reference LIFE11 ENV/ES/000584
Duration 01-OCT-2012 to 30-SEP -2016
Total budget 2,368,719.00 €
EU contribution 1,138,861.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España),Attiki(Ellas),Toscana(Italia),Norte(Portugal),West Midlands(United Kingdom)


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