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Concept: Metropolitan area


Legionnaires' disease, a severe pneumonia, is typically acquired through inhalation of aerosolized water containing Legionella bacteria. Legionella can grow in the complex water systems of buildings, including health care facilities. Effective water management programs could prevent the growth of Legionella in building water systems.

Concepts: Health care, Medicine, Epidemiology, Demography, Legionellosis, Legionella, Metropolitan area, Civil engineering


Radioactive contamination in the Tokyo metropolitan area in the immediate aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP) accident was analyzed via surface soil sampled during a two-month period after the accident. 131I, 134Cs, and 137Cs were detected in these soil samples. The activity and inventory of radioactive material in the eastern part of Tokyo tended to be high. The 134Cs/137Cs activity ratio in soil was 0.978 ± 0.053. The 131I/137Cs ratio fluctuated widely, and was 19.7 ± 9.0 (weighted average 18.71 ± 0.13, n = 14) in the Tokyo metropolitan area. The radioactive plume with high 131I activity spread into the Tokyo metropolitan area and was higher than the weighted average of 6.07 ± 0.04 (n = 26) in other areas. The radiocesium activity and inventory surveyed in soil from a garden in Chiyoda Ward in the center of Tokyo, fell approximately 85% in the four months after the accident, and subsequently tended to rise slightly while fluctuating widely. It is possible that migration and redistribution of radiocesium occurred. The behavior of radiocesium in Tokyo was analyzed via monitoring of radiocesium in sludge incineration ash. The radiocesium activity in the incineration ash was high at wastewater treatment centers that had catchment areas in eastern Tokyo and low at those with catchment areas in western Tokyo. Similar to the case of the garden soil, even in incineration ash, the radiocesium activity dropped rapidly immediately after the accident. The radiocesium activity in the incineration ash fell steadily from the tenth month after the accident until December 2016, and its half-life was about 500 days. According to frequency analysis, in central Tokyo, the cycles of fluctuation of radiocesium activity in incineration ash and rainfall conformed, clearly showing that radiocesium deposited in urban areas was resuspended and transported by rainfall run-off.

Concepts: Chernobyl disaster, Urban area, Uranium, Radioactive contamination, Nuclear safety, Radionuclide, Metropolitan area, Tokyo


High temperatures have substantial impacts on mortality and, with growing concerns about climate change, numerous studies have developed projections of future heat-related deaths around the world. Projections of temperature-related mortality are often limited by insufficient information necessary to formulate hypotheses about population sensitivity to high temperatures and future demographics.

Concepts: Demography, United Kingdom, Climate change, New York City, Metropolitan area, New York, City of London, Heat wave


Sharing rides could drastically improve the efficiency of car and taxi transportation. Unleashing such potential, however, requires understanding how urban parameters affect the fraction of individual trips that can be shared, a quantity that we call shareability. Using data on millions of taxi trips in New York City, San Francisco, Singapore, and Vienna, we compute the shareability curves for each city, and find that a natural rescaling collapses them onto a single, universal curve. We explain this scaling law theoretically with a simple model that predicts the potential for ride sharing in any city, using a few basic urban quantities and no adjustable parameters. Accurate extrapolations of this type will help planners, transportation companies, and society at large to shape a sustainable path for urban growth.

Concepts: New York City, Curve, New Jersey, Automobile, Metropolitan area, New York, Global city, Curves


A traveler visiting Rio, Manila or Caracas does not need a report to learn that these cities are unequal; she can see it directly from the taxicab window. This is because in most cities inequality is conspicuous, but also, because cities express different forms of inequality that are evident to casual observers. Cities are highly heterogeneous and often unequal with respect to the income of their residents, but also with respect to the cleanliness of their neighborhoods, the beauty of their architecture, and the liveliness of their streets, among many other evaluative dimensions. Until now, however, our ability to understand the effect of a city’s built environment on social and economic outcomes has been limited by the lack of quantitative data on urban perception. Here, we build on the intuition that inequality is partly conspicuous to create quantitative measure of a city’s contrasts. Using thousands of geo-tagged images, we measure the perception of safety, class and uniqueness; in the cities of Boston and New York in the United States, and Linz and Salzburg in Austria, finding that the range of perceptions elicited by the images of New York and Boston is larger than the range of perceptions elicited by images from Linz and Salzburg. We interpret this as evidence that the cityscapes of Boston and New York are more contrasting, or unequal, than those of Linz and Salzburg. Finally, we validate our measures by exploring the connection between them and homicides, finding a significant correlation between the perceptions of safety and class and the number of homicides in a NYC zip code, after controlling for the effects of income, population, area and age. Our results show that online images can be used to create reproducible quantitative measures of urban perception and characterize the inequality of different cities.

Concepts: Psychology, Understanding, United States, City, Quantitative research, New York City, Metropolitan area, Global city


Nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution is emerging as a primary environmental concern across Europe. While some large European metropolitan areas are already in breach of EU safety limits for NO2, this phenomenon does not seem to be only restricted to large industrialized areas anymore. Many smaller scale populated agglomerations including their surrounding rural areas are seeing frequent NO2 concentration violations. The question of a quantitative understanding of different NOx emission sources is therefore of immanent relevance for climate and air chemistry models as well as air pollution management and health. Here we report simultaneous eddy covariance flux measurements of NOx, CO2, CO and non methane volatile organic compound tracers in a city that might be considered representative for Central Europe and the greater Alpine region. Our data show that NOx fluxes are largely at variance with modelled emission projections, suggesting an appreciable underestimation of the traffic related atmospheric NOx input in Europe, comparable to the weekend-weekday effect, which locally changes ozone production rates by 40%.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, European Union, Population, Europe, Air pollution, Ozone, Metropolitan area, Largest urban areas of the European Union


Cities are economically open systems that depend on goods and services imported from national and global markets to satisfy their material and energy requirements. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) footprints are thus a highly relevant metric for urban climate change mitigation since they not only include direct emissions from urban consumption activities, but also upstream emissions, i.e. emissions that occur along the global production chain of the goods and services purchased by local consumers. This complementary approach to territorially-focused emission accounting has added critical nuance to the debate on climate change mitigation by highlighting the responsibility of consumers in a globalized economy. Yet, city officials are largely either unaware of their upstream emissions or doubtful about their ability to count and control them. This study provides the first internationally comparable GHG footprints for four cities (Berlin, Delhi NCT, Mexico City, and New York metropolitan area) applying a consistent method that can be extended to other global cities using available data. We show that upstream emissions from urban household consumption are in the same order of magnitude as cities' overall territorial emissions and that local policy leverage to reduce upstream emissions is larger than typically assumed.

Concepts: City, Climate change, Greenhouse gas, London, Chicago, Metropolitan area, Global city, Metropolis


Korean Americans (KAs) have low screening rates for cancer and are often not well informed about their chronic diseases. Reduced access to health-related information is one reason for gaps in knowledge and the widening health disparities among minority populations. However, little research exists about KAs' health information seeking behaviors. Guided by the Structural Influence Model, this study examines the influence of immigration status on KAs' trust in health information sources and health information seeking behaviors. Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area as well as in the Gwangju metropolitan city in South Korea during 2006-2007. Two hundred and fifty-four KAs and 208 native Koreans who were 40 years of age or older completed the surveys. When comparing native Koreans to KAs, we found KAs were 3 times more likely to trust health information from newspapers or magazines (odds ratio [OR] = 3.13; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.49-6.54) and 11 times more likely to read the health sections of newspapers or magazines (OR = 11.35; 95% CI = 3.92-32.91) in multivariate adjusted models. However, they were less likely to look for health information from TV (OR = 0.29; 95% CI = 0.12-0.72) than native Koreans. Our results indicate that immigration status has profound influences on KAs' health information seeking behaviors. Increasing the availability of reliable and valid health information from printed Korean language magazines or newspapers could have a positive influence on increasing awareness and promoting screening behaviors among KAs.

Concepts: Population, South Korea, Seoul, Korea, Korean language, Koreans, Korean American, Metropolitan area


Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland, has high levels of deprivation and a poor-health profile compared with other parts of Europe, which cannot be fully explained by the high levels of deprivation. The ‘excess’ premature mortality in Glasgow is now largely attributable to deaths from alcohol, drugs, suicide and violence.

Concepts: Death, Demography, Industrial Revolution, United Kingdom, England, Scotland, Metropolitan area, Glasgow


In this study, active magnetic biomonitoring of moss for particulate air pollution and an assessment of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were performed for the entire metropolitan area of Belgrade. Two mosses, Sphagnum girgensohnii (a species of the most recommended biomonitoring moss genus) and Hypnum cupressiforme (a common moss in the study area), were used. During the summer of 2013, moss bags were exposed at 153 sampling sites, forming a dense network of sites. A type II regression model was applied to test the interchangeable use of the two moss species. Significantly higher levels of all measured pollutants were recorded by S. girgensohnii in comparison with H. cupressiforme. Based on the results, the mosses could not be interchangeably used in urban areas, except for the biomonitoring of Cu. Nevertheless, according to the relative accumulation factors obtained for both moss species, similar city zones related to high, moderate and low levels of air pollution were distinguished. Moreover, new pollution hotspots, omitted by regulatory monitoring, were identified. The results demonstrate that moss magnetic analysis represents an effective first step for obtaining an overview of particulate air pollution before more expensive chemical analyses. Active moss biomonitoring could be applied as a pragmatic approach for optimizing the representativeness of regulatory monitoring networks.

Concepts: Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, Pollution, Particulate, Air pollution, Moss, Metropolitan area, Mosses, Sphagnum