Cork "in the zone" with clean air initiative

Cork "in the zone" with clean air initiative

OSM PHOTO - 03/04/2022 - REPRO FREE -

CORK'S Lord Mayor is waging war against climate change as he prepares to introduce the first designated clean air zone of its kind in an Irish city.

Cork’s Clean Air Zone will see areas including Oliver Plunkett Street, St Patrick's Street, Grand Parade and South Mall fitted with air monitors by the start of June.

These will measure nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone and particulate matter over time. NOx is a specific measure of pollution attributable to petrol or diesel engines. Cork City Council has partnered with Cork Healthy Cities, the Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry, UCC’s School of Applied Psychology, Cork Chamber of Commerce and Cork Business Association to make the initiative possible. The CAZ has been described as the start of a long partnership that will see the development of a play street in the area and school-based initiatives aimed at raising awareness.

Lord Mayor, Cllr Colm Kelleher described the importance of the measures.

‘‘This Clean Air Zone is another step in making Cork a healthier, more sustainable city," he said. "Our vision for Cork’s Clean Air Zone is that it will improve the urban environment to support public health and the local economy, making Cork a more attractive place to live, work, and spend leisure time’’.

The rollout of the Clean Air Zone is led by Executive Scientist with Cork City Council, Dr Kevin Ryan.

He explained that a Clean Air Zone is an area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality, specifically by reducing major sources of pollution.

“Clean Air Zones address numerous types of pollution, including nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter," he said. "Tailored measures to improve air quality will reduce public exposure to these harmful pollutants” he said.

Cork City Council commissioned Cork-based artist, Kevin O’Brien to create an artwork depicting different aspects of air quality in the city to mark the event.

Meanwhile, Dr Dean Venables from UCC’s Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry welcomed the initiative saying that air pollution causes 1,300 premature deaths every year in Ireland.

“Cork’s Clean Air Zone is a major milestone for the city”, he said. “Air pollution is often worst near roads because vehicles are a major source of particles and nitrogen oxides. Pedestrianising this area will result in cleaner air and less traffic noise”.

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