Every year, air pollution causes thousands of premature deaths in London.
Like most complex health issues, poor air quality and its damaging effects impact some groups more than others. Air is particularly polluted in inner London – in our boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, some neighbourhoods exceed legal limits regularly. Poor air quality also impacts disproportionally on areas where people from ethnic minorities backgrounds live, as well as areas with high levels of deprivation.
There is growing energy and action to tackle air pollution in the UK and London is quickly becoming a global leader on the issue.
Data is being captured and made widely available. However, while there is much insight around pollution levels and how these affect health, there is less evidence on which interventions work to reduce the health effects of air pollution, particularly at a local level.
Through our third urban health programme, which we’re now exploring and plan to launch in early 2020, we want to help address the health effects of air pollution in our inner-city boroughs. We will work with many different partners – from local residents to urban planners and transport leaders, and from community groups and businesses to the NHS – to develop, test and demonstrate the impact of innovative solutions.
As we prepare to launch our programme, we are exploring the issue in more detail. This includes looking into which innovative solutions – local in particular – may help address it, what both local and national stakeholders are currently doing to tackle the issue and how people in our area experience the impacts of polluted air.
Our premise is that the drivers of poor air quality in our boroughs, and the solutions that help reduce the health effects of air pollution, will be relevant to other inner-city areas all around the world.
We are currently in the exploratory phase of our programme – gathering and interrogating information to identify the unique role we can play on the issue. We plan to share what we learn in early 2020.
At this moment, we are not inviting ideas, but if you have insights that could help shape our new programme or would like to discuss partnerships, please contact Kate Langford. We will publish future callouts on this page, on social media and through our e-newsletter.