smog down especially in Rome, -71% NO2 in April


In the lockdown period, thanks to the blocking of traffic, there is a sharp drop in pollution especially due to the collapse of nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The main collapse of NO2 occurred in Rome, where the average concentrations are lower than the previous years (2016-2019) by 59% for the month of March and -71% for the month of April respectively. This was revealed by “MobilitAria 2020”, the annual study of the Kyoto Club and Institute of Air Pollution of the National Research Council (Cnr-Iia) which photographs air quality and urban mobility policies in the 14 main Italian cities and metropolitan areas in the period 2019-2020.

In Turin the drop is -43% for the month of March and -51% for the month of April; in Milan there was a reduction of -29% and -43% compared to the average for the same period 2016-2019, while Naples recorded a reduction of -33% and -57% respectively.

But what to do to make these improvements ‘structural’ and lose this positive figure with the recovery? We must accelerate the transition towards sustainable mobility even if, stresses the Kyoto Club, while the cities try to equip themselves with the Dl Relaunch just fired by the Government proves shy and insufficient to counter the growth of congestion and traffic which will gradually return to invade our cities after the restart.

The Kyoto Club and Cnr Iia proposals: enhance smart working and proximity services to decongest cities; plan entry times for work, schools, public and private services, commercial services to reduce peak hours and make better use of the spaces and services available; expand sharing mobility services, promote cycling mobility through the expansion of cycle paths and services for cyclists; support public transport; enhance the mobility manager figure; reorganize logistics in a sustainable way; focus on vehicle electrification and maintain limited traffic zones and low emission zones.

“It seems clear that the exit from the pandemic crisis puts us in front of a crossroads – comments the vice president of the Kyoto Club, Francesco Ferrante – The ‘conservative’ thrust of those who think that the best answer to the needs of social distancing is to shut themselves up in their own private car, perhaps by encouraging the purchase of the models that have remained unsold in these months, or rather, a more modern model that is based on the strong enhancement of local public transport, sharing, forms of soft and sustainable mobility and which encourages the technological innovation accelerating the exit from the ‘fossil era’ also in transport? ”

“Only if we are able to win the second option – continues the vice president of Kyoto Club – will we be able to return to live in the city again beautiful, welcoming, full of life and clean air”.

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