CITEAIR II builds on experience

Project aims to supply common information on air quality in European cities

December 16, 2009 | By CITEAIR II

The CITEAIR II project, with European co-funding, aims to facilitate high-quality exchange of air-quality management techniques and to develop synergies with climate change mitigation practices, and to make information on air quality available to the public in a consistent manner in all European cities. CITEAIR II also seeks the involvement of new cities in providing air-quality data.

CLEAR OBJECTIVES: Maribor, Slovenia is one of the participating cities in the CITEAIR II project. Photo courtesy of Municipality of Maribor.

The Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) is involved in the CITEAIR II project through its partner organisation REC Slovenia. The main tasks are to support awareness-raising of the importance of air quality in CEE region, to inform relevant stakeholders about the project and its activities, and to disseminate the project results to governmental and municipal agencies, experts and NGOs.

While climate change is currently drawing major political and media attention as the world prepares for December's climate talks in Copenhagen, air pollution and its detrimental effects on health - in Europe and around the world - should not be ignored.

Cities and regions all around Europe are exposed to high levels of air pollution. Designing, implementing and monitoring mitigation measures is. However, are tremendous challenges for policy makers and authorities, as is the need to raise public awareness.

In this respect, the three-year CITEAIR II project aims to support local authorities by developing new tools and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best practices.

This means first to provide up-to-date information on air quality in European cities to local and regional authorities, and for the public and media to enhance comparability among cities. The preceding CITEAIR I project developed an interactive website, which CITEAIR II is currently maintaining and developing further. In total, there are now about 60 cities delivering data to the platform in near real time. The website is also available in Dutch and French, and by project's end should be available in additional languages.

Second, CITEAIR II aims to develop, test and validate a methodology to combine greenhouse gases (CO2) emission inventories with existing air pollutant emission inventories (EIs). This approach is necessary for taking measures that will both help tackle climate change and improve air quality.

Third, urban mobility plays a key role in the sustainable development of a city, as it has impacts on both the air quality emission of greenhouse gases. Traffic congestion is also widely considered as the main cause of deteriorating urban living conditions. CITEAIR II is currently developing and preparing to implement a Traffic & Mobility Indicator in European cities, which should enable immediate, standardised comparisons of mobility levels across European cities, and help to raise awareness on the importance of reducing mobility-generated emissions.

Fourth, CITEAIR II is developing and implementing an air-quality forecasting index. High concentrations of ozone, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, observed by monitoring stations, can be predicted by operational air-quality forecasting systems such as Prev'Air, developed in France. CITEAIR II is investigating the use of such predictive capability, though forecasting models like these are driven mainly by weather forecasts, emissions data and computing power - things not equally available to all European cities. Therefore, CITEAIR II proposes a three-tiered approach - based on available skills, resources and local expertise - to offer cities more possibilities to achieve air-quality forecasting.

The first results for these different activities will be available in 2010.

As improving air quality is a collective effort, the CITEAIR II project is interested in considering further cooperation and encourages all cities willing to make your air quality data available on the Airqualitynow website to get in touch with the project consortium, comprising the following: Airparif (lead partner), ATAC Roma, Burgas, CHMI, DCMR, Egmasa, INERIS, Maribor, Polis, Prague, and the REC.

For more information on the CITEAIR II project, click here.

Project contact: info (at)

Partnership contact: rec-slovenia (at) guest.arnes.di

CITEAIR II (Common Information to European Air) is co-funded under the European Commission INTERREG IVC programme and runs from 2008 to 2011. The project builds on the experience and users of a previous CITEAIR project (2004-2007, INTERREG IIIC) which among other things developed and implemented air quality indices on the European level and laid the foundations for its supporting website.