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European urban and con-urban areas, in particular large cities, struggle with the problems of high levels of air pollutants. At present about 60% of the European population is living in cities. For the next decades it is foreseen that this percentage will further increase. The substantial growth of the urban population is associated with a further increase of the macro- and micro-economic activities in the cities including energy generating and transportation activities (traffic), building construction etc, and with increased air pollution problems.

Local and national authorities are seriously concerned about elevated concentrations of ozone, of fine particles and of mutagenic and/or carciogenic compounds, e.g. benzene in ambient air. Here the Commission with its services is asked to contribute with directives and proposals to the amelioration of the air quality through the European territory. Evaluating the whole situation on air quality in Europe in the last decades after the implementation of the existing and partly revised air quality directives, it can be stated that generally there is a clear improvement of many air pollution indices. However, we are far from saying that Europe�s urban air quality can be characterized as satisfactory. .

Additional information

Authors: KOTZIAS D, JRC, Environment Institute, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: The 11th International Symposium on Environmental Pollution and its Impact on Life in the Mediterranean Region, Limassol (CY), 6-10 October 2001
Record Number: 200114013 / Last updated on: 2001-11-14
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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