The UK Chief Medical Officer Annual Report is a clear and convincing call to action.
This year’s report lays out the scale of the challenge of reducing air pollution, the substantial progress that has been made and highlights achievable solutions.
The report identifies many win-win (or win-win-win!) scenarios. For example, increasing active travel like walking and biking will reduce toxic air pollution, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and directly improve health through physical activity.
‘The path to better outdoor air quality is clear, and we need to go down it.’
The report points out that there is still a long way to go. With current policies, by 2030, all of southern and eastern Britain is projected to exceed the WHO annual exposure threshold for PM.
Regarding Urban Planning the report states
‘Urban planning should support reducing air pollution concentrations locally – such as reducing air pollution near schools and healthcare settings. Shifting to active travel where possible has direct health wins as well as reducing air pollution from vehicles planning should support this.’
Street-level air quality data in real time will be essential to measure the impact of these solutions.
Click here to read the report in full.