European City Ranking 2015
Best practices for clean air in urban transport

Air pollution causes nearly half a million premature deaths each year in the European Union. In busy cities, air quality is usually at its worst, with high concentrations of particulate matter (PM), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone. The average life expectancy of people living in the EU’s most polluted areas is reduced by over two years as a consequence of this. A lot can be done at a local level to avoid these emissions.

Air pollution not only damages human health but also affects our natural environment, by causing acidification and eutrophication. Furthermore, soot, or black carbon (a part of PM10), emitted largely by diesel cars, contributes to global warming by reducing the reflection of sunlight when deposited on snow and ice. The ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC) demands that local authorities comply with short term and annual limit values of PM10 and NO2. Municipalities have adopt measures to reduce air pollution and to comply with the above mentioned air quality limit values.

What measures have been designed and implemented in some of Europe’s most polluted cities? With this ranking we aim to answer this question and demonstrate that local solutions to reduce air pollution exist. We identify which cities are best at it, and what others can learn from them.

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Overall
Rank
Overall
Mark
Measure
Graph
City
01

B+

89%

Pie Chart Zurich

Zurich

Switzerland

With a population of 400,000 in the city and 1.3 million people in the suburban area, Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland.

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02

B

87%

Pie Chart Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the Capital of Denmark and also its political, cultural and economic centre. The city has an urban population of about 1.25 million inhabitants …

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03

B

84%

Pie Chart Vienna

Vienna

Capital of Austria

Vienna is the Capital of Austria and with 1.7 million inhabitants also the largest city. It hosts offices of many international organisations, in particular of the United Nations (UNO).

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04

B-

80%

Pie Chart Stockholm

Stockholm

Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia with a population of 851,155 in the municipality (2010) …

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05

C

76%

Pie Chart Berlin

Berlin

Capital of Germany

Berlin is the capital of Germany and with 3.4 million citizens also Germany’s largest city. It is located in the eastern part of Germany, 70km west of the Polish border…

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06

C-

71%

Pie Chart Helsinki

Helsinki

Capital of Finland

Helsinki is located in the south of Finland. It is the country’s capital and most populated city with almost 625,000 inhabitants.

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C-

71%

Pie Chart London

London

Capital of United Kingdom

London is the capital of the United Kingdom and the second largest city in the EU with 8.3 million inhabitants. The metropolitan area has a population of 12 to 14 million.

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C-

71%

Pie Chart Paris

Paris

Capital of France

Paris is the capital of France and also the country's largest city. With a population of 12.3 million inhabitants in the …

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C-

71%

Pie Chart Stuttgart

Stuttgart

Germany

Stuttgart is the capital of the German state Baden-Wuerttemberg and Germany’s 6th largest city. The city itself has …

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10

D+

69%

Pie Chart Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Capital of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the largest city of the Netherlands with 783,000 inhabitants and a metropolitan population of almost 2.2 million people. The city is the official, cultural and financial …

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D+

69%

Pie Chart Graz

Graz

Austria

Graz is the capital of the federal state of Styria and with a population of 276,000 the second largest city in Austria. It is located in the south-east of the country.

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12

D

67%

Pie Chart Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf

Germany

Dusseldorf is situated in Western Germany in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region and is the Capital of the German state North Rhine-Westphalia.

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D

67%

Pie Chart Lyon

Lyon

France

Lyon is the 3rd largest city in France (population: 475,000) and is situated in the east, close to the Swizz border. The metropolitan area has a population of 1.3 million people.

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14

D

64%

Pie Chart Brussels

Brussels

Capital of Belgium

Brussels is the capital of Belgium and as a metropolitan region it has a population of 1.8 million. Brussels is a centre for international politics, …

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15

D-

62%

Pie Chart Barcelona

Barcelona

Spain

With a population of 1.6 million in the city and 4.5 million people in the metropolitan area, Barcelona is Spain’s second largest city and largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea.

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D-

62%

Pie Chart Milan

Milan

Italy

Milan is a city in the north of Italy and the capital of the region of Lombardy. Whereas the city has a population of about 1.3 million people, the greater metropolitan region …

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D-

62%

Pie Chart Prague

Prague

Capital of Czech Republic

Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic with 1.24 million inhabitants and a total metropolitan population of almost 2 million people. The city is the fifth most visited …

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18

F

58%

Pie Chart Dublin

Dublin

Capital of Ireland

Dublin is the capital of Ireland, located in east-central Ireland and is the historical centre for administration, economy, education and industry …

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F

58%

Pie Chart Glasgow

Glasgow

United Kingdom

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the UK. The city has a population of almost 600,000, the greater Glasgow region almost 1.2 million and the whole region around the city around 2.4 million people.

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F

58%

Pie Chart Madrid

Madrid

Capital of Spain

Madrid is the capital of Spain. With a population of 3.16 million people in the city and 6.3 in the metropolitan area it is the largest Spanish city. It is the financial, political, economic and cultural centre of Spain with its Iberian Peninsula.

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F

58%

Pie Chart Rome

Rome

Capital of Italy

Rome is located in the central-western part of Italy and is the countries capital and most-populated city with over 2.7 million inhabitants.

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22

F

56%

Pie Chart Lisbon

Lisbon

Capital of Portugal

Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and with a population of 2.8 million habitants in the metropolitan area the largest city in the country. The city is the only European capital along the Atlantic coast …

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23

F

53%

Pie Chart Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Capital of Luxembourg

With a population of almost 110,000 habitants in 2014, the city of Luxembourg is the largest urban area in Luxembourg and also the capital of the country. The population is …

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