There are limits set in place in UK cities to control the levels of air pollution, specifically the levels of NO2, Nitrogen Dioxide. They are monitored and measured by testing how many times per hour, day and year these limits are exceeded. The most polluted streets in London are expected to breach these limits in January.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 12.6 million people die from environmental health risks annually. Air pollution has become the fourth highest risk factor for premature deaths – one in 10 deaths worldwide is attributable to air pollution exposure.
If we are to meet the carbon reduction targets set by COP21 and the UN Sustainable Development Goals then cities around the world need to change how people live, travel and work in them. Our buildings and transport network produce the vast majority of carbon emissions in our cities. The 2018 Ashden Awards will reward the frontrunners providing innovative solutions making homes and offices more energy efficient and our cities more comfortable to live in.
We are seeing positive signs from around the world that governments and leaders are starting to take climate action to make their cities safer places to live. Plans like the pedestrianisation of Oxford Street, one of London’s most polluted streets, and air pollution monitoring schemes are happening in Peru, Brazil and Bangladesh supported by the World Bank.
In the UK the longlist includes organisations adapting buses to run on clean electricity, robots that can quickly add insulation under floors and a peer-to-peer bike rental scheme to reduce the number of polluting vehicles on the roads.
Internationally, we will be taking forward an African organisation providing affordable, sustainable housing in West Africa, an Eco-City in China and a sustainable shuttle bus used for commuting in India to name a few. Below are all the longlisted applicants working to make cities around the world a greener place to live through sustainable buildings and transport options. The full longlist is available here.
UK Clean Air
International Sustainable Mobility