Air pollution is a global issue, but change can be effected at any scale. From neighbourhood campaigns, to schools and community interest groups, we're seeing increasing momentum from people and organisations trying to improve our air quality.
We want these efforts to be as successful as possible. That's why we've worked with Design Council to come up with design principles for setting up neighbourhood-level work to improve air quality.
These principles can be used by local authorities, communities, businesses and others who want to take practical actions to address the climate crisis and implement effective interventions to improve air quality.
Organisations focused on evaluation, research and community engagement are not always culturally representative of our place. That’s why we're investing £1.5m to develop a more diverse network of support organisations, which we believe will lead to more culturally relevant insights and, ultimately, equitable health interventions.
Construction sector's role in improving air quality
Construction is a major contributor to poor air quality. Daniel Marsh, Programme Manager at the Centre for Low Emission Construction, explains why it’s vital that people working in the construction sector understand the health effects of air pollution and are proactive in improving air quality in and around construction sites.
Particulate matter (PM) can have serious health effects, particularly for children, older people and people with heart and lung conditions. We also know people in lower-income communities are disproportionately affected by poor air quality.
Road transport and manufacturing/construction accounted for 12% and 18% of PM2.5 respectively in 2019, making them two of the biggest emitters. But in the last decade, we've seen a switch where road transport continues a downward trend in emissions while construction plateaus. That's why we're working to support the construction industry to improve air quality in cities.
Opinion: those most affected by the pandemic must be heard to shape a fair and healthy recovery
"If academic research – that traditionally does not include the experiences of communities as an equal and valid form of data – is used as the basis for policy and decision making, then the risk of excluding these perspectives is increasing the very inequalities such research aims to address." Rowena Estwick