Clean Air at Mega-Events in BAQ 2010

What do the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Expo 2010 Shanghai, and Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi have in common? They all have the potential of attracting millions of local and international visitors to the host city. These “mega-events” give these cities a chance to highlight environmentally sustainable activities, particularly in air quality improvements and carbon footprint reductions.

The Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center, applying its experience with air quality communications for the Beijing Olympics, has launched a new website to communicate air quality management in these mega-events to policymakers and the public (http://megaevents.cleanairinitiative.org). The website features information on the air quality of the host cities before, during, and after their respective mega-events. Also available for download is CAI-Asia study on “Analysis of Air Quality Management in Cities with Past and Planned Mega-Events: A Survey Report.”

“As previous Olympic Games have demonstrated, major international events like this year’s World EXPO in Shanghai provide unique opportunities to catalyze air quality management in these cities,” says May Ajero, CAI-Asia Air Quality Program Manager. “We want to communicate both the short-term and long-term measures that the cities are taking to improve air quality levels for these high profile events.”

The website was made possible with funding from the Fu Tak Iam Foundation and the Embassy of Sweden in Delhi, in collaboration with the Shanghai Environment Protection Bureau (SEPB) and the India Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). CAI-Asia also works with other organizations to publish updated air quality monitoring data from mega-event cities.

“We’ve done a tremendous effort on improving air quality in Shanghai but most of these are documented only in Chinese,” says an official of SEPB. “The website translates these into English to help us inform international visitors and media.”

The launch of the mega-events website last August 2010 by CAI-Asia also coincided with the completion of first half of World Expo Shanghai 2010 and the release of CAI-Asia’s “Blue Skies at Shanghai Expo 2010: A Mid-Expo Air Quality Report”.

Clean air at mega-events will be one of the sessions at the Better Air Quality conference in Singapore scheduled on 11 November, 9.00-10.30am. The website will continue beyond the mega-events of 2010 with the aim of inspiring other cities hosting mega-events to communicate proactively their work on reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

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