Back to overview

Transparency & Communication Policy

Informing citizens & enabling participation

Air quality measures will be most effective if the people are on board and raising people’s awareness can be an effective soot reduction measure in itself. We looked into the quantity and quality of information which the city made available to the public, via their websites but also other media channels e.g. TV, radio, text message, or twitter. We took onto consideration possible events, festivals, or campaigns aiming at raising awareness about air quality issues in the city. Finally, we tried to gather information about the involvement of civil society in decision making, especially during the drafting of the air quality action plans, when the information was available. This was done based on feedbacks from the city as well as from local groups’ experiences.

Zurich

Switzerland

The Department of Health and Environment Zurich provides an official website with comprehensive background information on air quality, current pollution values, consultation possibilities, a Smartphone App called airCHeck, information on legislation and annual reports and studies. Furthermore, there is a direct contact. Additionally, the Round Table Transportation and Health uses expert advice to inform the civil society about the consequences of air pollution.

Department of Health and Environment Zurich (Ger.) http://www.stadt-zuerich.ch/gud/de/index/umwelt/luft.html

More Information

Lyon

France

There are two official websites on air quality, one website provided by the city of Lyon and a regional website. The city website on air quality provides very limited background information as well as a phone and email contact to the department. Its main operation is to forward visitors to the regional website. The regional website on air quality offers extensive background information on, among other things, pollutants, their legislation and health implications. There are interactive maps with current and forecast pollution levels as well as download sections for reports and data. Additionally, there is a pollution alert, a 24/7 air quality query service via phone or email, and a calculator for personal emission impact according to daily vehicles usage. A phone and email contact to the Air Rhône-Alpes association is also available. Generally, the website is a bit chaotic and sometimes counterintuitive.

Official website of Lyon on air quality (Fr.): http://www.lyon.fr/page/cadre-de-vie/qualite-de-lair/…

Official Air Rhône-Alpes website on air quality (Fr.):
http://www.air-rhonealpes.fr/Site/Article/voir/cartographies…

More Information

Amsterdam

Capital of the Netherlands

In Amsterdam there are three offices working on improving air quality and increasing public awareness. The city states that between July 2012 and August 2013 alone, 53 activities within the context of the strategic communication plan Clean Air were undertaken, including promotion activities and the production of infographics. There are an interactive map, reports, data download, twitter and a newsletter. Direct contact is possible via the GGD health service. There is great amount of data on the health impact of air pollution at the municipal level. However, in our inquiries it seemed that is not well communicated.

Website on air quality of the city of Amsterdam http://www.luchtmetingen.amsterdam.nl/

More Information

Graz

Austria

The city of Graz provides a website on air quality with some background information on air quality, legislation and current values of pollutants at all monitoring stations in the city. There is a particulate matter traffic light to give citizens an easy overview of current air quality in the city. A direct and personal contact to the city’s air pollution department is provided. Some information on the city website is linked to the Styria region’s website on air pollution. The latter provides live information on air quality and comprehensive background information on air pollutants. Long-term data time series can be downloaded from an extensive database called LUIS. Direct contacts are provided.

Participation possibilities for the civil society are actively promoted through the city’s dialogue platform called Time for Graz within the “Office for Citizens’ Participation”. Additionally, there is an independent platform called More time for Graz.

City website on air quality (Ger.): http://www.umwelt.graz.at/cms/ziel/4849481/DE/

Styrian website on air quality (Ger.): http://www.umwelt.steiermark.at/cms/ziel/2054533/DE/

More Information

Stuttgart

Germany

The city has a well-arranged website with information on air quality, action plans and measures. Also direct contact information is available. Furthermore, there is the possibility for participation of civil society in air quality matters. A draft of the air quality action plan has been publicly presented in 2014 and written submissions of stakeholders have been taken into account. Improving air quality is a big topic for public and media debates in Stuttgart. Awareness about clean air issue is very high as can be seen for instance in the participatory budgeting process where proposals to improve air quality by transport and mobility measures have the biggest share in the proposal of citizens. Many congresses and conferences about air quality take place in Stuttgart.

Website on air quality by the city's Office for Environmental Protection, Section of Urban Climatology (Ger./ Engl.): http://www.stadtklima-stuttgart.de/index.php?luft_luftinstuttgart

More Information

Paris

Capital of France

The non-profit organisation AIRPARIF, which is accredited by the Ministry of Environment, is responsible for monitoring the air quality in the Paris region. It provides a comprehensive website with detailed background information on pollutants, legislation, monitoring methods and stations. Furthermore, there is the option to download daily bulletins, annual reports and long-term air quality data. Additionally, a section with intAIRactive tools for adults and children can be accessed. Important features of the website are air quality forecasts and an interactive map with current air quality levels at each measuring station.

Website by AIRPARIF (Engl.): http://www.airparif.asso.fr/en/stations/index

More Information

Copenhagen

Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen has a website supplying general information, including general contact data as well as a series of reports on local initiatives and city planning documents. Furthermore, in Denmark the Department of Environmental Science of the Aarhus university is in charge of air quality monitoring and also supplies all the national air quality data, including for Copenhagen. It publishes annual reports, 3-day air quality forecasts and a station map

Copenhagen on air quality (Dan.): http://www.kk.dk/artikel/luftforurening-i-k%C3%B8benhavn

More Information

Vienna

Capital of Austria

There is an extensive website with a lot of information of relevance to citizens, application forms and direct department contacts. Air Quality Reports with hourly updates, current air quality numbers, daily reports, ozone-alarms, monthly and annual reports and additional info on ozone and PM10 are also available. Additionally, an interactive map with current information on air quality as well as designated cycling and walking routes, etc. is available:

Air Quality website (Ger.)
https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/luft/

More Information

Stockholm

Capital of Sweden

There is an extensive regional website on air quality with background information on, for example, pollutants, their legislation and their health implications as well as detailed information on monitoring stations. Current pollution levels as well as a forecast section can be accessed, and there is a database for hourly, daily and annual pollution levels. Maps are only marginally used and only sometimes in an interactive way. An extensive database for various reports is accessible. A phone and email contact to the department is available.

Uppsala County Air Quality Management Association: http://www.slb.nu/elvf/

More Information

Berlin

Capital of Germany

The city provides online information on air quality, including daily and annual limit values. It also provides online background information, a phone hotline and a low emission zone 'mailbox'. Furthermore, there are international tourist flyers about the low emission zone and information campaigns. Contact persons are named on the websites including phone numbers. The city also involved NGO and civil society in drafting the air quality action plan. The new clean air action plan adopted in 2012 was subject to intensive hearings with integration of NGO proposals. Intensive particpation process was also existent in the StEPV (development plan for transport).

City website on air quality information (Ger.): http://www.berlin.de/sen/umwelt/luftqualitaet/

More Information

Dusseldorf

Germany

Well organized website of the city and the regional administration (Bezirksregierung) informing about the measuring stations, concentration trends as well as official air quality plans. Contacts are given via general mail address and phone number of the environmental office. Working groups with stakeholders including environmental NGO were organized by the state government in the run-up of air quality plans.

More information (ger.):
http://www.duesseldorf.de/umweltamt/…

Regional website (ger.): http://www.brd.nrw.de/umweltschutz/umweltzone_…

More Information

Brussels

Capital of Belgium

Brussels municipality has a comprehensive programme for communicating with the public about air quality. Brussels provides a website with extensive information on air quality, current measurement values, interactive information on stations and background information about legislation. There is an info phone and SMS alarm service, but only a general mail contact to the Institut Bruxellois pour la Gestion de L’Environnement (Brussels Institute for Environmental Management). Furthermore, public TV channel RTBF provides air quality bulletins, which are also to be found in print media and radio spots, in addition to awareness raising activities. When developing air quality plans, the public is consulted. Special communication possibilities are given to journalists.

City website on air quality monitoring (Fr.): http://www.ibgebim.be:8080/Pollumetre/Graph.action?lang=fr&langtype=2060#

More Information

Glasgow

United Kingdom

Information on air quality is available through various websites, in particular the city website, which includes a large range of informative documents like monitoring and progress reports, as well as action plans and information about monitoring stations. There is a direct contact to the public health department. The website furthermore informs citizens on how they can participate.

A national website provides further information on air quality, anoption to download the latest data, comprehensive background information and a daily email or mobile phone alert. Furthermore, there is an educational section for children and teenagers. Websites by national departments and independent agencies were not taken into account for grading.

City website on air quality (Engl.): http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/localairqualitymanagement

National website on air quality (Engl.): http://www.scottishairquality.co.uk/latest/?site_id=GLA6&view=latest

More Information

Madrid

Capital of Spain

Madrid has general measures to inform the public about air quality problems, including extensive background information on e.g. pollutants and legislations. There are IT applications with current air quality levels and a free SMS alert service when thresholds have been exceeded.

Beyond these information, the local NGO was quite critical of the information policies, including missing public warning in air pollution peak periods and rather useless environmental stakeholder groups. These information should actually downgrade Madrid on its measures for transparency and participation.

Website of Madrid on air quality (Eng.): http://www.mambiente.munimadrid.es/svca/index.php?lang=en

More Information

Rome

Capital of Italy

The Centre of Lazio Region for Air Quality offers a website with background information on air pollutants, their legislation and their effects on health. There are daily, weekly and yearly reports and bulletins, as well as daily, monthly and yearly data extraction possibilities. There is only a general contact to ARPALAZIO.

Centre of Lazio Region for Air Quality, background information (Ital.):
http://www.arpalazio.net/main/aria/doc/

Centre of Lazio Region for Air Quality, detailed information about monitoring (Ital.):
http://www.arpalazio.net/main/aria/sci/

More Information

Luxembourg

Capital of Luxembourg

The city provides a website on air quality with contact possibilities to the environmental department. Monthly reports on air quality as well as the Air Quality Plan are available for download. For information on current pollutant levels on the Internet, the city’s website forwards to the national Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure. Here, a basic interactive map and some background information are available. The relevant legislation, plans and measures are documented on the website and can be downloaded. An email contact is provided. Both websites are not very attractive and not well structured or intuitive.

As an additional information and awareness-raising tool, the city wanted to install public screens showing current pollutants levels. However, these have been in a long pseudo process of planning since 2011.

There are generally few possibilities for participation in mobility projects, but rather informative meetings for the public. For soft mobility however, there are advisory committees with state, city and civil society members that work and function well.

City website on air quality (Fr.): http://www.vdl.lu/Environnement+et+Urbanisme/Environnement/Qualit%C3%A9+de+l_air.html

National website of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructures on air quality (fr.): http://www.environnement.public.lu/air_bruit/dossiers/PA-reseaux_mesure_air/reseau_automatique/resultats_mesures_live/

More Information

Lisbon

Capital of Portugal

The city of Lisbon runs an official air quality website with very little information. It mainly serves to forward visitors to the national air quality database. There is a general contact, which is not specifically for issues regarding air quality. There is a national website on air quality with some background information on pollutants and monitoring stations. The website works as an online database, where all officially monitored data can be downloaded. The website is provided through a national-regional cooperation.

City website on air quality (Port.):
http://www.cm-lisboa.pt/en/living-in/environment/air

National air quality database (Port.):
http://qualar.apambiente.pt/index.php?page=1&zona=4

More Information

Helsinki

Capital of Finland

The Helsinki Region Environmental HSY website provides information on air quality and provides a semi-interactive map and a general contact for citizen questions. Data on air quality, traffic, etc. is available through an online database called Helsinki Environmental Statistics. Furthermore, there is a webpage on current and previous hourly air quality levels in Finland that the HSY website guides the visitor to. Also, there is information on measuring stations, but no background information of air pollutants and so on. The only possibility for contact is via an email address.

Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority HSY (Eng.):
was published too late to be considered in the ranking
https://www.hsy.fi/en/residents/theairyoubreathe/Pages/default.aspx

More Information

London

Capital of United Kingdom

The city’s relatively new web portal provides information about air quality for measuring stations across London with interactive maps. An additional airTEXT website provides the local forecast of daily air quality. Studies show, however, that it wasn’t a great success as only 2% of schools actually were aware of it. Furthermore, Mayor Boris Johnson has refused for years to issue smog warnings.

The best information on air quality is provided by an independent air quality monitoring and information website by the London Air Quality Network. It includes comprehensive background information and interactive maps on air quality, annual air quality reports, data download and direct contact to King’s College. Websites by independent agencies were not taken into account for grading.

Websites on air quality by the Greater London Authority: http://www.cleanerairforlondon.org.uk/ http://www.airtext.info/

Website by the London Air Quality Network (Engl.): http://www.londonair.org.uk

More Information

Prague

Capital of Czech Republic

There is a national website for air quality with current air quality values, an interactive map, information on legislation, as well as monthly, quarterly and yearly data reports. However, there is no background information on pollutants. Direct and personal phone and email contacts are available.

National website on air quality (Engl.): http://portal.chmi.cz/portal/...

The Prague Institute of Planning and Development operates a local data information portal, which provides air pollution data and models (Engl.):
http://www.geoportalpraha.cz

More Information

Barcelona

Spain

The city provides information about air quality in a dedicated section on its website. There is relatively good background information and data research facilities, as well as information on legislation. However, the website is counterintuitive and not very well structured. A personal contact is not available; a general contact to the department is hidden. A second website on air quality offers an interactive map, but limited background information.

Barcelona also offers a citizen participation guide, called the Citizen Commitment to Sustainability 2012-2022.

More information:
http://habitaturba.bcn.cat/qualitataire/en/ http://mediambient.gencat.cat/es/05_ambits_dactuacio/a…

More Information

Milan

Italy

The Lombardy region, where Milan is located, operates a comprehensive website on air quality with current and recent pollution values. The website offers detailed background information on pollutants and their specific legislative limits. Furthermore, it is possible to download, for instance, annual reports as well as air quality data upon request. Specific email addresses are provided for specific departments of the ARPA. A general phone contact is available. Generally, the transparency budget is actually taken out of the congestion charging revenues which should be dedicated to mobility measures. Also NGO participation deserves further improvement.

Website on air quality by the ARPA Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione dell'Ambiente (Ital.): http://www2.arpalombardia.it/sites/QAria/_layouts/15/…

Website of the Municipality of Milan on environmental data (Ital.):
www.amat-mi.it

More Information

Dublin

Capital of Ireland

Dublin City provides a website on air quality with very limited background information and only a general contact possibility. Moreover, annual air quality reports that can be downloaded are relatively basic. A further website by the Council is also very basic and mainly provides links to other websites about air quality.

A national website on air quality by the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government gives some background information, but rather focuses on national and EU legislation. Here, a direct contact is available. The website of the Environmental Protection Agency provides detailed information on national air quality, an interactive map and a section for downloading annual reports and bulletins. Websites by national departments or independent agencies were not taken into account for grading.

Website on air quality by the City and by the Council (Engl.): http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-water-waste-and-environment-air-quality-monitoring-and-noise-control/air http://www.dublin.ie/environment/air-pollution.htm

More Information