European City Ranking | Best practices for clean air

A wide range of measures can be taken to improve air quality. We have selected nine categories of measures based on their potential to reduce particulate matter (PM10), which is a pollutant regulated under EU law, meaning that its concentrations are closely monitored and that the commitment to reduce these is a major motivation behind most cities’ air quality strategies. The categories have also been selected based on their potential to reduce soot emissions from traffic and non-road pollution sources. The purpose of the ranking is not to measure the reduction potential of the different measures. The aim is to highlight best practices and assess which of the 17 selected cities have made most use of them.
Several measures address the main emitters at source, for instance by introducing Low Emission Zones and cleaning up public vehicles fleets or non road mobile machinery such as construction machines. Other strategies such as economic incentives, traffic management, and promotion of cycling and walking may reduce car use and thus improve air quality. In addition, we looked at the reported reduction of local PM10 emissions between 2005 and 2009 as well as at the level of public information and citizens’ participation in decision making …