ClairCity conference kicks off at REC

Project aims to provide low-cost solutions to tackling air pollution

May 15, 2017 | By Gabor Heves

Air pollution kills, and that’s a fact. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), polluted air causes one in eight premature deaths worldwide. And despite having made great efforts, Europe is no exception: each year, approximately 467,000 premature deaths in Europe due are attributed to air pollution. The human loss is mirrored in the economic toll as well, with productivity loss, additional health expenditure, and diminished crop and forest yields accounting for roughly 2 percent of the continent’s total GDP each year (source: EEA).

“Total estimated health-related external costs in 2010 were in the range of EUR 330–940 billion, including direct economic damages of EUR 15 billion from lost work days, EUR 4 billion from healthcare costs, EUR 3 billion from crop yield loss, and EUR 1 billion from damage to buildings,” according to the European Commission.

But let’s face it: this is not another problem for someone else to solve. We all need to make changes in how we live our lives! We not only spend far too much time in our cars—leading to obesity, stress and cardiovascular problems—but we often burn low-quality materials for space heating, or ignore the health risks of poor-quality indoor air.

While the estimated health costs of bad air quality are astronomical, there are many surprisingly low-cost solutions to tackling this problem. This is exactly where the ClairCity project comes in. Focusing on citizen-led air pollution reduction in cities, the project is now holding its annual conference in Szentendre, Hungary.  The main goal of this important event is to present simple yet effective solutions to improve public health.

The primary aim conference is to focus attention on the practical implications of current research on behavioural change related to environmental and social issues. Public engagement strategies are also being reviewed. And while behavioural change and public engagement are generally considered to be low-cost measures, their impacts can be enormous! To this end, ClairCity experts will share their experiences and the project’s results to date.

Learn more about ClairCity conference on the project website. From this link you can also download the conference agenda and the conference registration form.

Additional event information is also published here.

 


TAGS: Air pollution | Environment and health | Hungary