Street dust concentrations in Helsinki have been successfully reduced by:
- intensive street cleaning with high-pressure washing equipment;
- dust binding with calcium chloride solution.
Different methods of cleaning streets were studied in the REDUST Life + project in 2011-2014. The best results for respirable street dust mitigation in the street cleaning demonstration tests were achieved with methods which apply high pressure water washing, such as the modern street scrubber. During first day after treatment the emission reduction was approximately 40% and during the first week after treatment on an average 20%. Compared to traditional street cleaning equipment (so-called suction sweepers) the modern street scrubber has additional high pressure washers which reach the dust accumulated in the pores of street surfaces. Reduction in respirable street dust emissions was not recorded for a traditional suction sweeper in the demonstration testing. The traditional method is based on mechanical brushing and suction, which does not deep-clean the street surface like the machines with actual pressure washers. But when the traditional suction sweeper was operated in combination with a separate lorry using high pressure washing, reductions in respirable street dust emissions were achieved.
Dust binding refers to the spreading of liquid solutions on paved streets to mitigate street dust emissions. In the Helsinki region mainly calcium chloride is used for dust binding. The effects of dust binding on street dust emissions were studied in the REDUST Life + project in 2011-2014. The results showed that dust binding is a very cost-effective way to reduce high street winter and springtime dust concentrations in road environments. Targeted dust binding to street edges and to the area in the middle of the lanes decreased street dust emissions by approximately 40% during two days after the action and whole lane dust binding by approximately 60% for three days after the action.
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The Urban Agenda for the EU - consolidated with the Pact of Amsterdam, agreed on 30 May 2016 by the EU Ministers responsible for Urban Matters - has introduced a new working method of thematic Partnerships being elaborated by partners representing various governance authorities aiming to tackle social challenges by focussing on cities. It aims to promote cooperation between Member States, Cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders, in order to stimulate growth, liveability and innovation in the cities of Europe. The Partnership on Air Quality is one of the 12 priority themes of the “Urban Agenda for the EU”.
The main objective of the Partnership on Air Quality is to improve air quality in cities and to bring the ‘healthy city’ higher on the local, national and EU agendas as part of the Urban Agenda. This will be done through improving the development and/or implementation of regulation, funding mechanisms and knowledge at all levels, as well as the coordination between them.
The Partnership’s actions and recommendations also aim to contribute to the goals of the New Urban Agenda and to the targets set in the Sustainable Development Goals.