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Assessing Young People’s Preferences in Urban Visibility in Beijing

Category: Articles

Volume: 13 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 1536-1543
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2012.11.0307

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Oscar A. Fajardo, Jingkun Jiang , Jiming Hao

  • State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control, School of Environment, Tsinghua University, 100084 Beijing, China


In the search for measures to address the severe air pollution problems that accelerated industrial development has caused in China, many studies have been conducted on the characterization and origin of the pollutants, but so far very little work has been done to assess the social and psychological dimensions that air pollution has. Among all of these, the effect of visual impairment is often underestimated. In this study we sought to estimate the way in which young people think about the problem of poor visibility in Beijing, and if their opinions vary compared to people accustomed to different levels of visual air quality in other urban areas. A survey was conducted with the participants all aged between 15 and 18 years old. It was found that the range of median preference value for an acceptable visibility was 34.5–45 dv (12–4 km), which was much worse than the 19–33 dv (58–14 km) reported in Northern America. An analysis of the hypotheses that could account for this observed difference was conducted. Recommendations to correct this difference were proposed.


Air pollution Visual air quality Haze Visual impairment

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