Community Assessment of Freeway Exposure and Health (CAFEH) and the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) released a report on April 20 on air pollution monitoring and design concepts for the Reggie Wong Memorial Park to protect community health.
Last year, CPA and partnered with CAFEH at Tufts University to conduct air pollution monitoring at the park, part of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation land designated as Parcels 25 and 26 that are in the bidding process for development. Linnaean Solutions facilitated a design charrette through which community members and park users learned about mitigation measures to address air pollution and came up with creative ideas to redesign the park.
Lydia Lowe, CPA executive director, said her organization has been working with CAFEH for seven years monitoring the air in Chinatown. She thought it was important to study the air of Reggie Wong Park, which is between two highway ramps.
“The park is one of the main recreation areas in Chinatown,” Lowe said. “It was important to find out how bad the air pollution is there.”
The park was monitored for two weeks in the summer and ultra fine particles were found in high levels. Before the study, researchers assumed most of the traffic pollution would come from the west, where the I-90 highway tunnel is located. However, the highest levels of pollution came from southeast.
“We are not sure why that is,” said Doug Brugge, professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University, who led the study. “We still think the tunnel is an issue.”
Brugge said his team should collect air samples during the winter months as well, since that is when the highest level of air pollution occurs.
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