Milan hops on the car-banning bandwagon with its own proposal to create zones of “pedestrian privilege”

Milan_tram_at_Scala_theatre_(232522732)

(Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Milan is the latest city to join the ranks of Paris, Madrid, Brussels, and Dublin in expelling cars from its smoggy, often gridlocked city center. Unlike its more zealous counterparts, the city has opted for an incremental approach, with no proposed timeline and a gradual, virtually street by street implementation.

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Bike to work without the smog: the Clean Ride Mapper helps Canadian cyclists find quieter, less polluted bike routes

Other
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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(Courtesy of Clean Ride Mapper)

(Courtesy of Clean Ride Mapper)

In urban canyons where tall buildings on both sides occlude sunlight, pollution, too, is prevented from dispersing. The Clean Ride Mapper is an interactive map that allows cyclists to choose quieter cycling routes with reduced traffic and pollution levels.

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Paris pushes for car-free River Seine quayside park as anti-pollution measures tighten

(Courtesy Luxigon)

(Courtesy Luxigon)

In keeping with Paris’ mounting aversion to automobiles, Mayor Anne Hidalgo recently announced plans to bar motorists from the banks of the River Seine by summer 2016. This latest blow to motorists occurs in tandem with the all-or-nothing anti-pollution target Hidalgo set last year of banning all non-electric or hybrid vehicles from Paris’ most polluted streets by 2020.

Continue reading after the jump.

Architects in Barcelona are remaking this tired, old bridge into a glow-in-the-dark, smog-eating sustainability machine

(Courtesy BCQ)

(Courtesy BCQ)

Spanish architecture studio BCQ recently announced plans to upgrade the arterial Sarajevo Bridge in Barcelona to be self-cleaning, smog-eating, and boast hanging gardens to boot.

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Breathe easy: Louisville art installation tracks air pollution in real time

"Air Bare" is an installation by Louisville, Kentucky's Urban Matters, Inc. It turns real-time air quality data into a game for public education. (Urban Matters)

“Air Bare” is an installation by Louisville, Kentucky’s Urban Matters, Inc. It turns real-time air quality data into a game for public education. (Urban Matters)

Save for the extreme examples—Beijing‘s “airpocalypse,” for exampleair pollution is often an invisible problem. For at least a brief period, designers from Brooklyn and data scientists from San Francisco hope to change that in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Scientists say Beijing will be covered in a cloud of air pollution for 16 more years

City Terrain, International
Friday, August 22, 2014
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Forbidden City in the Smog (John Chandler/Flickr)

Forbidden City in the Smog (John Chandler/Flickr)

The air in Beijing, China is dirty, and a new report suggests it won’t be getting cleaner any time soon. Beijing residents received the grim news from the Beijing Municipal Research Institute of Environmental Protection regarding the city’s air pollution levels. Following studies done by the institute, researcher Pan Tao has estimated the return of safe air pollution levels in 2030. The World Health Organization has stated in the past that the concentration of PM2.5, particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less per cubic meter, should not exceed 35 micrograms per cubic meter. In 2013, however, the level of PM2.5 in Beijing measured 89.5 micrograms per meter.

MODU’s Outdoor Room at the Beijing Olympic Park Draws Attention to Air Pollution

International
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
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(Matthew Niederhauser / Courtesy MODU)

(Matthew Niederhauser / Courtesy MODU)

The design team at MODU, in collaboration with Ho-Yan Cheung of Arup, have created an urban public space for the 5th China International Architecture Biennial. Their design pays homage to Beijing’s iconic Olympic Park, while drawing attention to environmental issues in the country’s densely populated capital. The biennial committee has also commissioned designs from leading international architects such as Wang Shu, Zaha Hadid, and Mohsen Mostafavi.

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New York City Targets Buildings’ Heating Oil to Improve Air Quality

East
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
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Hazardous smoke rises from a building using heavy oils. (Courtesy Environmental Defense Fund/Isabelle SIlverman)

Hazardous smoke rises from a building using heavy oils. (Courtesy Environmental Defense Fund/Isabelle SIlverman)

What’s your building burning? Some 10,000 buildings in New York City are stuck on the dirty stuff—heavy heating oils—to keep warm, which is polluting the air across the city. But as of the first of this month, the city has begun to phase out these feuls in favor of more environmentally-friendly and health-conscious alternatives. As part of plaNYC’s initiative to remake New York City with the cleanest air of any major U.S. city, NYC Clean Heat aims to achieve a 50 percent reduction in fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by the end of 2013.

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