National Clean Air Day activities confirmed
Details of activities taking place across Birmingham for the first ever National Clean Air Day have been confirmed.
Environmental charity Global Action Plan is working with Birmingham City Council and its partners to host a series of events across the city on Thursday, June 15, as part of a national day of activities designed to raise awareness of the effects of air pollution and the positive, practical steps people can take to help reduce it.
Two public events will be taking place on the day. These are:
- A business event outside St Phillip’s Cathedral from 11am-3pm. Hosted in partnership with Colmore Business District, this will be a marketplace event with various groups and organisations showcasing information and resources around promoting clean air, including a virtual reality experience.
- A community event outside Chancellor’s Court at the University of Birmingham from 11am-2pm, showcasing a range of projects and initiatives currently taking place to improve air quality, including a display of electric vehicles, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and a second hand bike sale, as well as talks from academics.
Additionally, information about the health impact of air pollution and how people can reduce their exposure to it will be available to families visiting Birmingham Children’s Hospital from 9am to 2pm on the day, while pupils at Montgomery Primary School in Sparkbrook will also be taking part in activities with teachers and parents.
Businesses, schools and communities are being encouraged to organise their own events too, with a range of toolkits providing the necessary resources available to download from the National Clean Air Day website at www.cleanairday.org.uk.
People can also use the website to make a series of pledges to take action to reduce air pollution on the day itself, including switching their car engine off when stationary, leaving their car at home altogether and walking their children to school instead of driving them.
Anne Shaw, Assistant Director for Transportation and Connectivity at Birmingham City Council, said: “Air pollution is a serious public health issue affecting everyone who visits, lives and works in Birmingham and this means we all have a responsibility to help tackle it together.
“A key part of the work we are doing to improve air quality in Birmingham is encouraging people to think about positive changes they can make in their daily routines, including walking, cycling or using public transport instead of driving. National Clean Air Day supports this wider work and provides an opportunity for employers, communities, schools and individuals to get involved and play a role in reducing air pollution.
“I hope that as many businesses and individuals as possible will come along on the day to find out more about the various initiatives taking place to improve air quality in the city and, ultimately, be inspired to take positive steps of their own going forward.”
Birmingham is among cities mandated by the Government to introduce a Clean Air Zone as soon as possible in order to meet UK and EU air quality legislation. Birmingham City Council is currently undertaking a feasibility study to identify the most polluted areas of the city and the causes of that pollution to establish the type of Clean Air Zone required to achieve this objective. The council plans to consult on its Clean Air Zone proposals in the autumn.
Birmingham City Council has been working to improve air quality in the city for a number of years through its Birmingham Connected strategy, working towards a reliable integrated transport system which supports the city’s growing population and economy, as well as Birmingham Cycle Revolution, which aims to make cycling an everyday way to travel around the city, and an initiative to fit Hackney carriages with cleaner, greener liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) engines.