【FOCUS】Solutions to Air Pollution
The Metropole Aix Marseille Provence is the largest urban area in France, comprising ninety two municipalities. Due to its geographical morphology, the omnipresence of the automobile in the urban areas and its intense industrial activities (petrochemicals, etc.), air pollution represents a significant challenge in the region. The DIAMS project stands for "Digital Alliance for Marseille Sustainability".It promotes a fluid transmission of territorial data and air quality data between urban, regional and national platforms and ensure their consistency. Besides, it stimulates creativity and harnessing the expertise of citizens and the private sector to co-develop and implement innovative solutions to improve air quality.
Recognising transport as major source of dangerous pollution levels, the Brussels Capital Region introduced a Low Emission Zone, planned a diesel ban by 2030, supported clean vehicle public transport, extended traffic free areas, promoted cycling, developed a sustainable freight strategy and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMPs). Many citizens and professionals own and use a car or a van because they transport their children, groceries, goods, tools etc., which is not always possible with a standard bike. The cargo bike is therefore the perfect solution for these needs, while eliminating emissions, noise and limiting urban congestion. CAIRGO BIKE is therefore designed to accelerate a drive to clean air by tackling significant impacts caused by overuse of Large Good Vehicles (LGVs) and cars for short urban trips, by promoting a modal shift to cargo bike.
Breda (NL) is a vibrant festival city and features numerous emission hotspots because of that. Nearly 200 events yearly put particular environmental strain on the city’s air quality, as events are mostly powered through diesel generators.The largest festivals (about 10%) will have budget available to replace generators with more sustainable power supply like battery systems or fixed sockets in public space. The dominant challenge however, is making smaller events more sustainable. Lack of funding and disperse use of public space force us to research new solutions. Social innovation is the key to keep budgets economically viable.The AirQon project will tackle technical and social challenges to replace diesel generators at festivals. The main solution is that visitors park their electric vehicle behind the stage of an event and supply energy to power up an entire podium or cool drinks with energy from the battery.
In early 2019, the Po River Valley in northern Italy, including the Emilia Romagna (ER) region, was one of the most air-polluted areas in the World. The city of Ferrara, located in the ER region, is among the worst affected, with serious health and environmental problems. AIRBREAK promises to tackle air quality issues in Ferrara, such as commuting issues, lack of urban greenery, lack of detailed and updated information about air quality, with an evidence/data based strategy and citizen-centric approach, integrating a set of innovative and tailor-based solutions. It also induces a behavioural change among citizens and cityusers bygamification methods and rewarding mechanisms.
Air pollution in Sofia goes way back, which is a complex problem. While some factors – like the geographical location in a plateau surrounded by high mountains causing winter thermal inversions – are beyond human control, other causes are linked to human activity. The city is growing fast in terms of population and new residential and office districts. Traffic in Sofia has the highest impact in terms of pollution of ambient air. Sofia is taking ambitious steps to electrify and expand public transport options. The city will launch “On-demand green public transport”, which will shift the way public transport works. Instead of driving on pre-defined routes, the new e-buses will create route map based on citizen demand submitted via mobile application. The app will leverage machine learning and advanced data analytics to create the most efficient path for each ride, collecting as much passengers as possible.