Understanding traffic

Credit: Robert Jack; CC BY-SA 2.0.Leveraging our network of Canadian transportation experts, we will compile all available traffic density data that is spatially-allocated. These data, which stem from current and historical model results, will help to develop new exposure metrics related to traffic patterns. For example, CANUE team members will use this data to determine average traffic density by vehicle type, season, and time of day for each postal code.

Traffic-related air pollution and noise

The CANUE team has the capacity to model household travel at the level of individuals and increasingly, can also model the movement of commercial goods. This will allow us to more realistically link current land-use and transportation infrastructure to traffic density, and then to provide new spatial and temporal allocations of traffic air pollution and noise in the urban environment.

Big data – real time traffic and air pollution

The CANUE project will take on big data analyses that promise to improve our understanding of the interplay between urban form, traffic, air pollution, and ultimately health. By leveraging strong connections to two sources of big data related to NO2, we can feasibly link the temporal and spatial patterns in urban levels of this pollutant. The sources are satellite data from TEMPO (a space-based instrument that monitors major air pollutants across the North American continent every daylight hour at high resolution) and real-time traffic flow patterns from the University of Toronto’s Transportation Research Institute and Dalhousie University’s Transportation Collaboratory (obtained from tracking mobile phone locations).

Developing new technologies

CANUE team members are developing new tools for collecting mobility data, including smartphone apps that collect GPS coordinates to infer locations, movement, mode of transportation, and activity. For example, our Waterfront Toronto Survey used smartphone apps to collect data and build individual activity-travel diaries. The CANUE project will expand these apps to prompt for additional information related to personal behaviours that will help us better understand the links between transportation and health.