HKUST PPOL Newsletter Fall 2023

17 Research Showcase Wang, X., Li, H., Wang, Y., & Zhao, X. (2023). Quantifying the Potential CoBenefit of Air Quality Improvement on Cultural Heritage in China. Sustainability, 15(11), 8709. Atmospheric pollutants corrode heritage materials, especially stone, causing a loss far beyond the economic losses of the degraded materials. Over the past decades, conventional air pollutants have been slashed owing to clean air actions in China, producing a significant co-benefit for heritage conservation. However, the benefits may be offset by increases in the photochemical oxidants in smog, such as ozone, which damage heritage materials. This study employed dose-response functions to quantify the impacts of air pollutants on the surface recession of the limestone of heritage structures in China, assessed the potential benefits of air quality improvement for heritage conservation, and provided evidence for the benefits of air quality improvement for heritage conservation, putting forward policy recommendations for heritage conservation, including assessing pollution risk, promoting heritage conservation through social sustainability, and implementing differentiated conservation strategies.