Air pollution is a major problem caused by urban growth and poses a high risk to human health. To mitigate the negative impact of pollution, some cities have implemented air quality strategies that regulate emissions from multiple sources. However, when such strategies are applied in isolation they may fail to comply with stringent environmental goals. To support the development of comprehensive urban air quality policy, we propose an optimization model that suggests a portfolio of mitigation actions that captures realistic aspects of air quality policy-making such as implementation cost, pollution goals, interdependencies between alternatives, and managerial and regulatory constraints. We illustrate the advantages of our model with a real case study in Bogotá, Colombia's capital and one of the largest cities of Latin America, where new legislation established a PM10 air quality standard. To achieve the environmental goal, our model suggests an optimal portfolio consisting of six mitigation actions targeting mobile and stationary sources. Interventions in the transport sector alone generate 70% of the emissions reduction. The PM10 goal is achieved with a net incremental cost of US$1 billion with respect to the no-intervention scenario. The optimization model and results presented in this article were formally adopted as the official air quality policy in the city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101385
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Air pollution
  • Air quality
  • Integrated assessment modeling
  • PM
  • Urban pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecological Modeling
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Urban Studies


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