Almost three quarters of Europeans live in cities, which remain the immediate level of intervention in dealing with the threats to human health coming from pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, particulate matter, and ozone. However, “Air quality planning” in the EU is not always under the responsibility of cities. In the meantime, the measures defined by should address different sectors, whose enforcement and implementation are of competence of urban, regional or national authorities, as appropriate.
There are two needs:
- To improve the coordination between different levels of governance (national regional, local) involved, respecting specific situations and the subsidiarity principle; and
- To improve the coordination within cities between air, health, energy, transport and urban planning, taking into account the contributions that could come from the involvement of citizens in urban policy development.
Moreover, many cities are facing two issues concerning the development and implementation of Cities Air Quality Action Plan. Firstly, access to knowledge and experiences from front-runners cities having already designed and implemented AQAPs is often crucial to avoid inefficiencies, and that such knowledge should be improved. And secondly, knowledge of best practices in the selection, design, funding, and implementation of air quality measures is essential to facilitate the choice of the relatively most effective measures for the AQAPs, and that such knowledge should be improved.
The Partnership identified the following action to tackle the aforementioned issues:
- Development of a Code of Good Practices for Cities Air Quality Action Plans aiming to present examples of consistent interpretation of the content listed under Annex XV, Section A of Directive 2008/50/EU.
- Assemble and keep updated a register of examples of best practice in urban air quality planning, in order to encourage the dissemination of knowledge on relevant air quality measures and facilitate comparative analysis on their relative effectiveness.
The city of Milan is the coordinator of this action.
More details on this action can be found in the Action Plan.