Public transit & air quality: Stories from Colombia

In this episode we discuss air pollution in Colombian cities in the context of public transit.

  • What is the state of air pollution science in Colombia?
  • What are the major fixed and mobile sources of air pollution Colombian cities?
  • How have air pollution scientists in Colombia use models to inform policymakers?
  • How have citizens and scientists used air pollution science to push for the transformation of the transportation system in Bogotá?

Our guest Prof Néstor Rojas is a Chemical and Environmental Engineering professor at the National University of Colombia in Bogotá. He received his PhD in 2002 from the University of Leeds in the UK, and was a professor at the Universidad de los Andes before joining the National University of Colombia where he has been a professor for the past decade and a half. His work has been supported and funded by local environmental agencies in the Bogotá region, as well as other institutions such as the Colombian National Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies, the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, the World Bank, the Colombian Science, Technology and Innovation Department and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He is well known for his work on understanding air pollution in Colombia where he uses measurement and modeling techniques to recommend effective policy measures to reduce air pollution with health and economic benefits.

Our interviewer for this episode is Maria Daniela Castillo. Castillo is a researcher at the George Washington University’s School of Public Health. She was previously a researcher at the Boston University’s School of Public Health where she worked on field-testing of a novel low-cost air quality sensor. She has a Bachelor in Sciences degree from the University of Wisconsin Madison in Environmental Sciences, and is slated to join the Master’s in City Planning program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Episode references:

Music by Ritesh Prasanna.

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