Scientific infrastructure usage for monitoring and modelling of gas-aerosol atmospheric composition for improving possibilities for air quality control and evaluation of impact on public health in Saint-Petersburg (RI-URBANS-SPBU, 2021-2023)

Research project led by PEEX collaborating partners – the Saint-Peterburg State University (SPBU; with the Scientific Research Center for Ecological Safety of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SRCES RAS; – is the Russian Sister Project to the EU Horizon-2020 RI-URBANS project (Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban& Industrial AreaS; 2021-2025; coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council (Spain) and the University of Helsinki (Finland).

The gaseous and aerosol composition of the atmosphere largely determines quality air, weather, climate and ecological state of the environment. In recent decades, an anthropogenic influence on the gaseous composition of the atmosphere has increased significantly. This affects economies of countries, social conditions and human health. Changes in gaseous composition can lead to atmospheric pollution by various toxic gases and aerosols and to creation of hazardous environmental conditions, which can lead to premature mortality of the population, and especially, in the large metropolitan areas such as megacity St.Petersburg (Russia).

Russian Sister project main goal: to develop innovative approaches to improve control of air quality in megacities (on the example of St. Petersburg, Russia) by quantitative assessments of nanoparticles and secondary air pollutants health impact on population based on methods of in-situ and remote measurements, numerical modelling and assessment of emerging risks.

Main objective:
is a combination (within a framework of the Horizon-2020 RI-URBANS project overall strategy) of efforts and infrastructure of research groups to develop recommendations for improving the control of air quality in St. Petersburg as a part of a unified approach applied to cities and industrial zones of the European Union as well as cities of the Russian Federation. It will be based on experience and achievements of research organizations in the field of measurements and numerical modeling of atmospheric composition in order to improve the control of major air pollutants (as recommended by the World Health Organization) including nanoparticles and secondary gaseous and aerosol pollutants, representing the greatest danger to human health.

Main tasks:

(1) Development and improvement/ refining methods for in-situ and remote measurements and obtaining new data on ecologically and climatically important gases that determine air quality in city of St. Petersburg;

(2) Development and expansion methods for measuring atmospheric aerosol parameters and obtaining new data on air pollution – primary and secondary particles – in St. Petersburg;

(3) Numerical modeling of spatio-temporal variability of gaseous and aerosol composition of the urban atmosphere of St. Petersburg employing regional-scale high resolution models to map distribution gaseous and aerosol pollutants, their sources and precursors.

(4) Assessment of risks and damage to St. Petersburg population’s health from atmospheric pollutants.

(5) Coordination of research, mutual exchange and comparison of measurement data with results of the EU RI-URBANS project and with the Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety of St. Petersburg.

Expected results:

  • Improved methods of in-situ and remote measurements of environmentally and climatically important gases that determine air quality in St. Petersburg;
  • New methods for interpreting results of in-situ and remote measurements of environmentally and climatically important gases in the atmosphere.
  • New data on content (in the atmosphere of St. Petersburg) of: ground-level ozone; volatile organic compounds (VOC) – precursors of ground-level ozone and secondary organic aerosols; ammonia as a precursor of secondary inorganic aerosols; nanoparticles in various size ranges; secondary organic aerosols smaller than 2.5 µm; black (elemental) carbon; secondary inorganic aerosols.
  • Numerical regional-scale high resolution models of the atmospheric gaseous and aerosol composition adapted to conditions of the St. Petersburg metropolitan area.
  • Spatio-temporal distribution patterns of gaseous and aerosol pollutants in the atmosphere of St. Petersburg based on numerical modeling with assimilation of available in-situ and remote measurements.
  • Spatio-temporal distribution maps of sources of nanoparticles, VOCs (precursors of ozone and secondary organic aerosol), atmospheric ammonia (precursors of secondary inorganic aerosol) – on the territory of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, obtained on basis of stationary and mobile measurements and numerical modeling.
  • New digital maps characterizing risks of air pollution impact on the St. Petersburg population’s health and trends in thermodynamic indicator of forest ecosystem disturbance due to air pollution.
  • Recommendations for reducing damage to the population of St. Petersburg resulted from air pollution.
  • Inter-comparison results of assessments of air pollution by secondary pollutants in St. Petersburg with Helsinki and other selected cities (of the RI-URBANS consortium).

Contact Information

Project Partners/ Teams

  • SPBU – Saint Petersburg State University, St.Petersburg, Russia
  • SRCES RAS – Scientific Research Center for Ecological Safety, Russian Academy of Science, St.Petersburg, Russia · European Partners of the Horizon-2020 RI-URBANS project (