Findings of the Partnership clearly highlight that air quality planning in cities would benefit from complementing the ‘focus on exceedances of limit values’, with an additional emphasis on citizens’ health. In particular, an important finding of the Partnership is that, although limit values (based on existing indicators) are not questioned, there is a need to go beyond them, as there are health impacts even at concentrations below current EU air quality standards. The Partnership also observed the need to better consider how air quality outcomes can be better integrated into existing funding mechanisms.
The Partnership identified the following action to tackle the problem described above:
In the current situation (spatial) planning is based upon approaches that do not fully reflect adverse health effects of pollution. Therefore additional instruments are needed to take these effects into account, and protect and improve citizen’s health. This could be useful for:
- Stimulating more focus on improvement of citizens’ health and encouraging cities to give more emphasis to air quality-related impacts on health in the strategic planning of their interventions. - Requesting to indicate the impact of air quality on health and apply a new instrument for measuring benefits generated in terms of citizen’s health and living environments.
The city of Utrecht is leader of this action.
More details on this action can be found in the Action Plan.