Potency of the pandemic on air quality: An urban resilience perspective

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown policy across the globe has brought improved air quality while fighting against the coronavirus. After the closure, urban air quality was subject to emission reduction of air pollutants and rebounded to the previous level after the potency period of recession. Different response patterns exhibit divergent sensitivities of urban resilience in regard to air pollution. In this paper, we investigate the post-lockdown AQI values of 314 major cities in China to analyse their differential effects on the influence factors of urban resilience. The major findings of this paper include: 1) Cities exhibit considerable range of resilience with their AQI values which are dropped by 21.1% per day, took 3.97 days on average to reach the significantly decreased trough point, and reduced by 49.3% after the lockdown initiatives. 2) Mega cities and cities that locate as the focal points of transportation for nearby provinces, together with those with high AQI values, were more struggling to maintain a good air quality with high rebounds. 3) Urban resilience shows divergent spatial sensitivities to air pollution controls. Failing to consider multi-dimensional factors besides from geomorphological and economical activities could lead to uneven results of environmental policies. The results unveil key drivers of urban air pollution mitigation, and provide valuable insights for prediction of air quality in response to anthropogenic interference events under different macro-economic contexts. Research findings in this paper can be adopted for prevention and management of public health risks from the perspective of urban resilience and environmental management in face of disruptive outbreak events in future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number150248
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2022


  • Air quality
  • COVID-19
  • Urban resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Potency of the pandemic on air quality: An urban resilience perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this