Attenuation of odours in the urban outdoor environment: A rapid review and implications for the conduct and interpretation of smell walks

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Abstract

The assessment and documentation of visual, auditory, and olfactory sensory experiences within urban environments is an emerging focus of research that has implications for the understanding of cultural heritage as well as community mental health. The common methodology to identify, describe, and document smells within environmental settings is smell walks, where individuals walk predefined transects, identifying and locating encountered odours and odour attributes (e.g., intensity, hedonic tone). As the locations of smell walks vary (e.g., indoor and outdoor markets, urban parks, etc.), localised environmental parameters such as airflow and temperature affect the dispersion and attenuation of the odours, influencing the results. This paper presents a rapid, systematic review of the factors that influence the attenuation of odours in the urban outdoor environment, in particular, in the context of outdoor markets. Although there is an abundance of literature on wind patterns in urban canyons discussing the influence of microtopography, this can only be applied cum grano salis to outdoor markets settings. Various avenues for future research are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Article number163
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironments - MDPI
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

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