Francesco Pilla

Francesco Pilla
University College Dublin | UCD · College of Engineering

PhD

About

158
Publications
72,396
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,251
Citations
Introduction
Francesco Pilla currently works at the College of Engineering, University College Dublin. Francesco does research in smart cities, low cost sensors, Data Mining and Geoinformatics (GIS). Their current project is 'iSCAPE: Improving the Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe.'
Additional affiliations
February 2019 - present
University College Dublin
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2015 - present
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Position
  • Professor
October 2012 - present
Trinity College Dublin
Position
  • Research Assistant

Publications

Publications (158)
Article
Full-text available
The increasing level of marine plastic pollution poses severe threats to the marine ecosystem and biodiversity. Open remote sensing data and advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms could be a cost-effective solution for identifying large plastic patches across the scale. The potential application of such resources in detecting and discriminating...
Article
Full-text available
The growth in e-commerce that our society has faced in recent years is changing the view companies have on last-mile logistics, due to its increasing impact on the whole supply chain. New technologies are raising users’ expectations with the need to develop customized delivery experiences; moreover, increasing pressure on supply chains has also cre...
Article
Full-text available
Hydrological modelling to address the problem of flood risk corresponding to climate change can play an important role in water resources management. This paper describes the potential impact of climate change on an urban river catchment using a physically based hydrological model called Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The study area considered...
Article
Full-text available
Changes in streamflow within catchments can have a significant impact on agricultural production, as soil moisture loss, as well as frequent drying and wetting, may have an effect on the nutrient availability of many soils. In order to predict future changes and explore the impact of different scenarios, machine learning techniques have been used r...
Preprint
Full-text available
This is a Masters Thesis completed at University College Dublin, Ireland in 2017 which involved augmenting an off-the-shelf electric bike with sensors to enable new services to be delivered to cyclists in cities. The application of primary interest was to control the cyclist's ventilation rate based on the concentration of local air pollutants. Det...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental exposure to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) can have negative effects on the health of ecosystems and humans. While numerous studies have monitored APIs in rivers, these employ different analytical methods, measure different APIs, and have ignored many of the countries of the world. This makes it difficult to quantify the sca...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental exposure to active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) can have negative effects on the health of ecosystems and humans. While numerous studies have monitored APIs in rivers, these employ different analytical methods, measure different APIs, and have ignored many of the countries of the world. This makes it difficult to quantify the sca...
Article
Full-text available
Forest fires impact on soil, water, and biota resources. The current forest fires in the West Coast of the United States (US) profoundly impacted the atmosphere and air quality across the ecosystems and have caused severe environmental and public health burdens. Forest fire led emissions could significantly exacerbate the air pollution level and, t...
Article
Full-text available
Investigating the impact of land cover change in hydrological modelling is essential for water resources management. This paper investigates the importance of landcover change in the development of a physically-based hydrological model called SWAT. The study area considered is the Dodder River basin located in southern Dublin, Ireland. Runoff at th...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a paradigm characterized by a network of embedded sensors and services. These sensors are incorporated to collect various information, track physical conditions, e.g., waste bins' status, and exchange data with different centralized platforms. The need for such sensors is increasing; however, proliferation of technol...
Article
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a paradigm characterized by a network of embedded sensors and services. These sensors are incorporated to collect various information, track physical conditions, e.g., waste bins’ status, and exchange data with different centralized platforms. The need for such sensors is increasing; however, proliferation of technol...
Article
Full-text available
Increases in extreme hydro-meteorological events due to climate change and decreases in soil permeability and infiltration due to urbanization have increased the risk of flooding, particularly in cities. The limitation of the expansion of conventional drainage systems to manage excess stormwater leads to the application of nature-based solutions (N...
Article
Full-text available
The abatement performance of photocatalytic coatings on NOx concentrations in real-world street canyons remains an open question considering the very different conclusions reached by the few previous field studies. To fill this gap, an intensive experimental campaign was carried out in summer 2018 in the outskirts of Bologna in Italy. The experimen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social media services such as TripAdvisor and Foursquare can provide opportunities for users to exchange their opinions about urban green space (UGS). Visitors can exchange their experiences with parks, woods, and wetlands in social communities via social networks. In this work, we implement a unified topic modeling approach to reveal UGS character...
Article
Full-text available
Transport emissions, including road, rail, air, and marine transportation, account for a large part of the overall emissions; hence, there is a need to review strategies for managing associated issues and coping with negative impacts. A simultaneous improvement in economic efficiency can help us achieve our desired objectives in the concerned conte...
Article
Full-text available
Social media services such as TripAdvisor and Foursquare can provide opportunities for users to exchange their opinions about urban green space (UGS). Visitors can exchange their experiences with parks, woods, and wetlands in social communities via social networks. In this work, we implement a unified topic modeling approach to reveal UGS character...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The sole objective and scope of the Special Issue are to offer novel, more sustainable, and cost-effective solutions to mitigate the risk of HMZs by providing a clear and detailed roadmap for practical implementation of the suggested solutions. The inclusion of cross-disciplinary ideas and approaches in the solution strategies can effectively reduc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Forest fires impact on soil, water and biota resources has been widely researched. Although forest fires profoundly impact the atmosphere and air quality across the ecosystems, much less research has been developed to examine its impact on the current pandemic. In-situ air pollution data were utilized to examine the effects of the 2020 forest fire...
Preprint
Full-text available
The increasing level of marine plastic pollution poses severe threats to the marine ecosystem and biodiversity. The present study attempted to explore the full functionality of open Sentinel satellite data and ML models for detecting and classifying floating plastic debris in Mytilene (Greece), Limassol (Cyprus), Calabria (Italy), and Beirut (Leban...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Urban expansion and densification brings both opportunities and challenges. Regeneration of urban areas is therefore a significant priority, which needs to take into account environmental quality, social justice and sustainable development. Transforming cities and regions into vibrant, sustainable and resilient living places has become a key global...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Evaluating the Impact of Nature-based Solutions: Appendix of Methods is a compilation of methods of determination for indicators of NBS performance and impact. Experts in a wide variety of disciplines from eighteen EU H2020 NBS projects and a number of supporting European programmes were directly involved in the production of this Appendix of Metho...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter introduces 12 categories of societal challenges that NBS can address (Section 4.1). These are conceptually mapped against the UN Sustainable Development Goals. For each of the 12 societal challenge areas, Section 4.2 outlines and lists indicators to evaluate the performance and impact of NBS. It reviews the different types of NBS, give...
Chapter
Full-text available
Selecting appropriate indicators of NBS performance and impact can be challenging, and is context-dependent. In this chapter, we present case studies from a variety of NBS demonstrations across Europe and Asia that illustrate the application of the NBS indicators and methods presented in Chapter 4 and thoroughly described in Evaluating the Impact o...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing recognition of the potential ecosystem services provided by urban forests suggests a need to examine soil quality under urban conditions. Soil quality assessment tools are presently mostly applied in agricultural production, but these approaches must also be evaluated in the urban context. This proof-of-concept exploratory study evaluate...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Soil spatial variability is a major concern when deciding how to collect a representative topsoil sample for laboratory analysis. Sampling design to capture site-specific variability is documented in the agricultural literature, but poorly understood for urban forest soils where soils may be characterized by strong horizontal and vertic...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic pollution poses a significant environmental threat to the existence and health of biodiversity and the marine ecosystem. The intrusion of plastic to the food chain is a massive concern for human health. Urbanisation, population growth, and tourism have been identified as major contributors to the growing rate of plastic debris, particularly...
Article
Full-text available
The adoption of Nature-Based Solutions (NBSs) represents a novel means to mitigate natural hazards. In the framework of the OPERANDUM project, this study introduces a methodology to assess the efficiency of the NBSs and a series of Open-Air Laboratories (OALs) regarded as a proof-of-concept for the wider uptake of NBSs. The OALs are located in Finl...
Article
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions (NBS) for hydro-meteorological risks (HMRs) reduction and management are becoming increasingly popular, but challenges such as the lack of well-recognised standard methodologies to evaluate their performance and upscale their implementation remain. We systematically evaluate the current state-of-the-art on the models and tool...
Article
The spatialization of socioeconomic data can be used and integrated with other sources of information to reveal valuable insights. Such data can be utilized to infer different variations, such as the dynamics of city dwellers and their spatial and temporal variability. This work focuses on such applications to explore the underlying association bet...
Article
Full-text available
To bring to fruition the capability of nature-based solutions (NBS) in mitigating hydro-meteorological risks (HMRs) and facilitate their widespread uptake require a consolidated knowledge-base related to their monitoring methods, efficiency, functioning and the ecosystem services they provide. We attempt to fill this knowledge gap by reviewing and...
Article
Full-text available
Clean air is a fundamental necessity for human health and well-being. Anthropogenic emissions that are harmful to human health have been reduced substantially under COVID-19 lockdown. Satellite remote sensing for air pollution assessments can be highly effective in public health research because of the possibility of estimating air pollution levels...
Article
Full-text available
Tree diversity, on a species-, genus-, and family-level, is an important factor in securing healthy urban forests and providing ecosystem services for billions of city dwellers. Using open-source data on global tree inventories, this study examines (1) the diversity of species, genera, and family of urban street trees in eight cities internationall...
Article
Full-text available
Since December 2019, the world has witnessed the stringent effect of an unprecedented global pandemic, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of January 29, 2021, there have been 100, 819, 363 confirmed cases and 2, 176, 159 deaths reported. Among the countries affected se...
Preprint
Full-text available
Continued population growth and urbanization is shifting research to consider the quality of urban green space over the quantity of these parks, woods, and wetlands. The quality of urban green space has been hitherto measured by expert assessments, including in-situ observations, surveys, and remote sensing analyses. Location data platforms, such a...
Preprint
Full-text available
The spatialization of socioeconomic data can be used and integrated with other sources of information to reveal valuable insights. Such data can be utilized to infer different variations, such as the dynamics of city dwellers and their spatial and temporal variability. This work focuses on such applications to explore the underlying association bet...
Article
Full-text available
Since December 2019, the world has witnessed the stringent effect of an unprecedented global pandemic, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). As of January 29, 2021, there have been 100, 819, 363 confirmed cases and 2, 176, 159 deaths reported. Among the countries affected se...
Article
Full-text available
Nature-based solutions (NBS) to address societal challenges have been widely recognised and adopted by governments in climate change and biodiversity strategies. Nevertheless, significant barriers exist for the necessary large-scale implementation of NBS and market development is still in its infancy. This study presents findings from a systematic...
Article
Full-text available
Continued population growth and urbanization is shifting research to consider the quality of urban green space over the quantity of these parks, woods, and wetlands. The quality of urban green space has been hitherto measured by expert assessments, including in-situ observations, surveys, and remote sensing analyses. Location data platforms, such a...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystem Services (ESs) are bundles of natural processes and functions that are essential for human well-being, subsistence, and livelihoods. The 'Green Revolution' (GR) has substantial impact on the agricultural landscape and ESs in India. However, the effects of GR on ESs have not been adequately documented and analyzed. This leads to the main h...
Chapter
The evergrowing populations and increasing human activities are associated with a major increase in environmental pollution. However, their impact is still poorly understood due to the pervasiveness and spatiotemporal complexity of the phenomenon. Conventional approaches to environmental monitoring are based on networks of sparse measurement statio...
Article
Full-text available
The characterization of health risks (HRA) in a population due to air pollution is crucial for the development of effective risk management policies and strategies. HRA is a formally required tool by nations as part of the decision-making process for new programs, regulations and policies that affect air quality, so it is important for decision mak...
Chapter
This chapter presents the citizen science (CS) activities aimed at air pollution monitoring with low-cost sensors (the Smart Citizen Kits) undertaken by the six iSCAPE Living Labs (LLs) with a variety of local stakeholders. iSCAPE is a H2020 project funded by the European Commission and aims at improving the smart control of air pollution in Europe...
Article
Full-text available
Noise pollution is considered to be the third most hazardous pollution after air and water pollution by the World Health Organization (WHO). Short as well as long-term exposure to noise pollution has several adverse effects on humans, ranging from psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression, hypertension, hormonal dysfunction, and blood pr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The aim of this document is to critically analyse and document hydro-meteorological hazards, their negative consequences and good practice examples of NBS to manage the associated risks in OPERANDUM OALs. The outcomes of this deliverable serve as a foundation for the various tasks in other WPs of OPERANDUM. For instance, the evidence summarised fro...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document reports information needed for the set-up of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) at Open Air Laboratories (OALs). It includes the description of the current hydro-meteorological and socio-economic status and identification of climatic and socio-economic drivers for future hazards. Land use scenarios, built on the identified drivers are descr...
Preprint
Full-text available
Since December 2019, the world has been witnessing the gigantic effect of an unprecedented global pandemic called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) - COVID-19. So far, 38,619,674 confirmed cases and 1,093,522 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported. In the United States (US), the cases and deaths are recorded as...
Preprint
Full-text available
Forest fires have a profound impact on the atmospheric environment and air quality across the ecosystems. The recent west coast forest fire in the United States of America (USA) has broken all the past records and caused severe environmental and public health burdens. As of middle September, nearly 6 million acres forest area were burned, and more...
Article
Coronavirus disease, a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS COVID-19), has become a global health concern due to its unpredictable nature and lack of adequate medicines. Machine Learning (ML) models could be effective in identifying the most critical factors which are responsible for the overall fatalities caused by COVID-19. The functiona...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, the present rate of urbanization in mega-urban centers is altering ecosystem functions and resultant ecosystem services of the landscapes. The natural and semi-natural ecosystems within the urban regions are under threat of loss and degradation. Estimating the economic values of the ecosystem services obtained from these natural and semi-...
Preprint
Full-text available
Clean air is a fundamental necessity for human health and well-being. The COVID-19 lockdown worldwide resulted in controls on anthropogenic emissions that have a significant synergistic effect on air quality ecosystem services (ESs). This study utilised both satellite and surface monitored measurements to estimate air pollution for 20 cities across...