By Hongyan He Oliver, Former Research Fellow, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, 2004-2009, Kelly Sims Gallagher, Senior Associate, Energy Technology Innovation Policy research group, Mengliang Li, Kongjian Qin, Jianwei Zhang, Huan Li and Kebin He
China's economic boom in the last three decades has spurred increasing demand for transportation services and personal mobility. Consequently, vehicle population has grown rapidly since the early 1990s, especially in megacities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Tianjin. As a result, mobile sources have become more conspicuous contributors to urban air pollution in Chinese cities.
Tianjin was our first focus city, and the study there took us about two years to complete. Building upon the experience and partnership generated through the Tianjin study, the research team carried out the Beijing study from fall 2007–fall 2008.
Beijing was chosen to be our second focus city for several reasons: it has the largest local fleet and the highest percentage of the population owning vehicles among all Chinese cities, and it has suffered from severe air pollution, partially due to the ever-growing population of on-road vehicles.