What is being done to tackle poor air quality in cities?
Increasingly Mayors, local governments and the private sector recognise the serious problem that air pollution poses for the well-being of citizens and the long-term potential for places. Cars are the biggest air pollutants in cities – 75% of carbon monoxide emissions come from cars and on average car emissions are responsible for 50-90% of urban air pollution. Actions are being taken to improve air quality by banning vehicles (particularly diesels which are the highest emitters of nitrogen oxides) from dense urban cores of cities. Athens, Paris, Madrid and Mexico City have drawn up plans to ban diesels by 2025. Meanwhile the Mayor of London plans to implement the world’s first ultra-low emissions zone, with surcharges for the most polluting cars. In the long-term the further roll out of electric and hydrogen powered vehicles will contribute to improving air quality in cities.