Smart Cities Against Pollution

Milan has recently finished hosting the 2015 World Expo

Following the success of the Expo, Milan is leading on a global initiative to raise awareness of, and to improve, air quality.

Milan has invited cities from countries across the world to join a network which shares ideas and best practice, and sets up projects to ensure cleaner air for all.

Key players who have been asked to become a part of the venture have included:

  • a) representatives of large and small cities to share ideas, discuss policies and set-up projects which aim to improve air quality
  • b) innovative companies who develop technologies which have a beneficial impact on air quality
  • c) companies who have policies and business models which respect the environment
  • d) research centres who are able to share their research into and give direction about air quality

An improvement in air quality is possible

Smart Cities Against Pollution aim is to promote meaningful debate and show that effective and correctly implemented policies, practices and technologies can have a profound impact on air quality across the globe

The goal is to identify the most effective policies, procedures and innovative technological solutions which can be implemented to overcome air quality problems. The first event will be held by the 2015 Expo host city, Milan, as a post Expo event on the 21st of July. Subsequent events will be held in other cities around the world.

Why reducing air pollution is important

Every day hundreds of millions of us live in an environment that is a danger to our health

Air pollution in 2012 alone was responsible for the premature deaths of 7 million people; more than HIV, malaria and influenza put together.

Aside from the obvious threat to life, air pollution has a negative impact on the economy (causing many working days to be lost and leading to significant healthcare costs) and on people’s quality of life (particularly those in vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly and those suffering from asthma).

Indoor air can be up to 7 times more polluted than outdoor air.

A high cost for all of us to bear

The direct cost of worldwide air pollution, which includes the cost of damage to crops and buildings, amounts to approximately €23 billion every year. Secondary costs, such as those related to the impact on health, are estimated to be between 330 and 940 billion €

While air pollution is a significant enough problem in many big cities across the developed world, it poses an even greater risk to health in cities across the developing world.