According to the latest data from the European Environmental Agency (EEA) London, once more, has the highest levels of the toxic gas nitrogen dioxide (NO2), of any capital city in Europe. Green Week’ takes place this year in Europe between 4 and 7 June with the theme of ‘Air quality’. This finding is based on air quality measurements of 2,836 monitoring stations across the whole of Europe. The greatest contributor of toxic gases is road transport, with diesel vehicles being responsible for the largest proportion of NO2 emissions. Other sources of air pollution include boilers and gas combustion.Clean Air in London (http://cleanairinlondon.org/hot-topics/highest-no2-of-any-capital-city-in-europe-again/)
reports that “The Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy forecast reductions between 2008 and 2011 in emissions of PM10 by 31% and NOx of 35% (pages 143 and 145 respectively). More recently, the Mayor has claimed that since 2008 emissions of PM10 and PM2.5 have been reduced by 15% and emissions of NOx have been reduced by 20% i.e. substantially less than expected (REF 1). Even these reductions, if true, have done virtually nothing to improve measured air quality”. What might designers working with communities contribute to finding new more sustainable ways of living and working that result in fewer toxic emissions and cleaner air? Clean air London suggest that “major announcements are expected from the Mayor and the European Commission”.