Rotterdam is a coastal city on the North Sea with a population of 600000. It is the largest city
of the Rijnmond area. The Rijnmond area is approximately 40 km (east-west) x 20 km (north-south).
It is home to 1.2 million people, bisected by rivers and it hosts one of the world’s largest ports.
The port of Rotterdam is the main gateway to Europe for containers, fuel, etc. The port is a
logistical hub for sea and inland going ships and attracts a lot of road traffic (both freight
and private vehicles). In the port-industrial area there are four oil refineries and a variety
of petrochemical and other industries, power plants, waste incinerators, etc.
The spatial mix of a relatively high population density with major traffic arteries (for vehicles
and ships) and industrial areas causes air quality problems, mainly related to NO2 and PM. On the
positive side, the dominant south-westerly winds bring in relatively clean air from the North Sea.