Forget ‘solutions’ such as smog towers, air-filtering buses and pollution-eating paints. We need to prevent the air pollution in the first place
The persistent haze over many of our cities is a reminder of the polluted air that we breathe. Over 80% of the world’s urban population is breathing air that fails to meet World Health Organisation guidelines, and an estimated 4.5 million people died prematurely from outdoor air pollution in 2015.
Globally, urban populations are expected to double in the next 40 years. An extra 2 billion people will need new places to live, services and ways to move around their cities. More important, the decisions that we make now about the design of our cities will determine the everyday lives and health of the next generations. So what would the components of a smog-free – or at least low-pollution – city be?