The CityAir Project financed by the Republic of Turkey and the European Union is being carrying out in 31 provinces in Turkey. Within the scope of the project, studies will be carried out to ensure that municipalities, decision makers, children, women and different segments of the society understand air quality and air pollution matters and to raise awareness on this issue.

Air pollution, which is now one of the biggest environmental problems all over the world, has become a problem threatening even the most basic right to breathe clean air. Poor quality fuels used especially in industry and residences and the increasing number of vehicles used in transportation are the main factors that negatively affect air quality. It is not possible to clean this polluted air, which causes deterioration of human health, physical damage and economic losses, by human hand once it is formed in the atmosphere.

Medical studies indicate that air pollution increases the mortality rate and has many serious negative effects, especially on children, from poor lung growth to mental retardation. In fact, poor air quality can cause illness and death, just like smoking, on living health. According to the latest reports published by the World Health Organization (WHO 2019), 7 million deaths are linked to air pollution in the world every year.

The economic cost of health impacts of air pollution has reached billions of dollars. According to the latest research (Im et al, 2018), air pollution causes 300 billion-euro economic loss per year in Europe. These results clearly demonstrate that air pollution is the world’s largest environmental health risk. Air pollution remains one of the main health risks even in developed countries. Despite the legal regulations applied all over the world, the restriction of emissions, the prohibition of the use of certain chemicals and stricter regulations in air quality standards, the world we live in faces an increasing air pollution problem…

AWARENESS FOR AIR QUALITY PROJECT

The Ministry of Environment and Urbanization continues its efforts to provide a more liveable environment in terms of air quality and to reduce the level of pollutants causing air pollution below the limit values specified in the European Union directives and to reach the standards of the World Health Organization. In this context, the ministry, which constantly monitors the air quality in cities, continues to work for citizens to breathe cleaner air with effective air quality management.

Now, a new study has been started to be conducted. The CityAir Project, funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey and implemented under the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, aims to increase the quality of the air that citizens breathe and therefore the quality of life and to raise public awareness, within the scope of the European Union Environmental Acquis and in accordance with the contracts of which Turkey is a contracting party.

PROJECT INTRODUCED WITHIN EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK

A series of studies will be carried out for air quality-based inventory and modelling in different provinces of Turkey, within the scope of the CityAir Project introduced during the European Mobility Week celebrated between 16-22 September. The project will also organize numerous awareness and improvement activities in different cities of Turkey for 36 months. The project covers Aydın, Denizli, İzmir, Manisa, Muğla, Uşak, Adana, Gaziantep, Hatay, Kahramanmaraş, Kilis, Mersin, Osmaniye, Amasya, Çorum, Giresun, Ordu, Samsun, Sinop, Sivas, Tokat, Afyon, Aksaray, Antalya, Burdur, Isparta, Karaman, Kayseri, Konya, Nevşehir and Niğde provinces.

MURAT KURUM: “WE AIM TO INCREASE THE QUALITY OF THE AIR OUR CITIZENS”

Speaking at the introductory meeting, the Minister of Environment and Urbanization, Murat Kurum expressed; “With the CityAir Project financed by the Republic of Turkey and the European Union, we aim to increase the quality of the air our citizens breathe and the quality of life in line with the practices implemented within the scope of the European Union Environmental Agreements”.

Stating that the project aims to increase the technical and administrative capacities of the competent authorities in order to solve air quality problems more efficiently, Kurum pointed out that studies will be carried out within the scope of the project to help municipalities, decision makers, children, women and society realize and understand the air quality management, and to raise awareness on this issue. Kurum continued as follow;

POOR QUALITY AIR IS THE CAUSE OF ONE OF EVERY 8 DEATHS IN THE WORLD

“The quality of the air we breathe directly affects our lives. One of every 8 deaths in the world is caused by poor air quality. To improve the air quality in our country and all over the world and to leave the world a healthy future, we say “clean air, better life”, and we are trying to raise Turkey’s air quality. With the CityAir project, clean air action plans of 31 provinces will be updated. Emission reduction strategies will be set at the provincial level. The title of the European Union Environmental Acquis on Air Quality will be put into practice and implemented. In line with this goal, we aim to encourage people to increase the quality of life in their own cities by creating and developing public awareness.

Sources:
  • Im, U. Ve diğerleri., 2018. Assessment and 694 economic valuation of air pollution impacts on human health over Europe and the United States as calculated by a multi-model ensemble in the framework of AQMEII3, Atmos. Chem. Phys.)
  • WHO, World Health Organization (Dünya Sağlık Örgütü), 2019. Hava kirliliği raporu.
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