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Nonfiction in response to Sustainable Cities and Communities
November 2018

Making Sustainable Communities in Polluted Cities

By Amrita Bhasin

When I visit India, the first thing that always strikes me from the moment I set foot outside the airport is the humidity and pollution in the air. However, as the air pollution and air quality only continues to worsen year after year, the government has tried to determine innovative solutions to curtail the number of cars on the road. When I visited India a few years ago, I was surprised to discover a new attempt to solve air pollution: road rationing policy based on even or odd license plate numbers.


Globally, there have been a variety of measures instituted to combat air pollution. Unfortunately, the public continues to suffer to the point where, in some countries, people are limiting the amount of time they spend outside, which is saddening.


According to the United Nations, there are “6.5 million people dying annually from air pollution and 92 percent of the world’s population living in places where levels exceed recommended limits” Some of the causes of air pollution are “inefficient modes of transport, household fuel and waste burning, coal-fired power plants, and industrial activities,” as well as non-human activities such as dust storms.


Furthermore, “some three million deaths a year are linked to exposure to outdoor air pollution. Indoor air pollution can be just as deadly.” “One in nine total global deaths” can be linked to air pollution, causing it to be known as an “invisible killer” ( Fortunately, the United Nations is pursuing a campaign that “seeks to cut in half the number of deaths from air pollution by 2030… through better housing, transport infrastructure, managements of waste and energy systems” (UN News).


As this is a problem that is projected to become even more relevant in the future, it is important that organizations are taking global initiative to alleviate air pollution.

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