Spatial association of urban form and particulate matter

Yunmi Park, Jiyeon Shin, Ji Yi Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Increasingly detrimental effects of fine particulate matter (PM) have been observed in Northeast Asia owing to its rapid economic development. Previous studies have found that dust, combustion, and chemical reactions are the major sources of PM; nevertheless, the spatial configuration of land use and land cover, which is of most interest to planners and landscape architects, also influences the PM levels. Here, we attempted to unveil the relationship between PM and different types of land use cover (i.e., developed, agricultural, woody, grass, and barren lands) in 122 municipalities of Korea. Landscape ecology metrics were applied to measure the spatial configuration of land use pattern and spatial lag models by taking into account the transboundary nature of air pollution, allowing us to conclude the following regarding PM levels: (1) the size of land cover type matters, but their spatial configuration also determines the variations in PM levels; (2) the contiguity and proximity of landcover patches are important; (3) the patterns of grasslands (e.g., simple, compact, and cluster (with large patches) patterns) and woodlands (e.g., complex, contiguous, and cluster (with large patches) patterns) considered desirable for minimizing PM are dissimilar in terms of contiguity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9428
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the FRIEND (Fine Particle Research Initiative in East Asia Considering National Differences) Project (2020M3G1A1114536) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Fine particulate matter
  • Korea
  • Land cover
  • Landscape ecology
  • Urban form


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