• Air quality: A Breath of Fresh Air

    What you can do locally to decrease air pollution and achieve European air quality standards

    T&E looks at the issues around air quality in urban areas.

    The negative impacts of air pollution on human and environmental health are now at the forefront of the political, social, and environmental debate. It is estimated that 75% of Europeans live in cities and at least 30-40% of them are exposed to average concentrations of air pollutants that exceed guidelines established by the World Health Organization1. Air pollution in France, Austria, and Switzerland is responsible for 40,000 deaths a year2. The Air Quality Framework Directive adopted in 1996 by the European Union (EU) sets a general policy framework for dealing with air pollution. In practice, the Directive is applied through a set of four pollutant-specific “Daughter Directives”.

    This fact sheet provides an overview of the first Daughter Directive, the role local groups and authorities must play in its context, and describe a variety of measures related to transport that local authorities can use to attain the objectives of the Directive.These measures will be illustrated with concrete examples.