Thu 21 Jan 2021
Antwerp is a sustainable city and is therefore strongly committed to sustainable energy, a good water policy, more greenery and improving air quality. Everyone; residents, companies and knowledge institutions, can contribute to a sustainable city of the future.
Antwerp, like other parts of Flanders, was one of the most polluted regions in Europe. With the aim of reducing air pollution throughout Antwerp, an action plan was introduced that ran from 2014 to 2018. Modeled maps show an improvement in air quality between 2016 and 2020. Due to measures, such as a low-emission zone, promoting cycling and less heating by combustion, the annual mean concentrations of particulate matter in most places are now below European standard. In addition, active air cleaning is now also applied to polluted hotspots, which improves the local air quality
Good air quality is important for the quality of life in a city. Health damage from exposure to particulate matter is 6 times greater than the damage from NOx. This has socio-economic consequences, such as reduced work productivity, absenteeism and lower life expectancy. In 2018, the external health costs due to particulate matter in Flanders amounted to more than 10 billion euros.
As part of the measures to improve air quality, there are currently 20 air purification systems in various parking garages spread across Antwerp. In 2019, Interparking has installed several air purification systems in its Roosevelt car park, under the Franklin Rooseveltplaats, a busy intersection near the city center. Last December, additional air purification systems were installed at Parking Steendok under the Gedempte Zuiderdokken. Together, these systems produce about 3.6 million m3 of cleaner air every day, which is given back to the city.
However, the policy in Antwerp has resulted in a more healthy and livable city, but also a city that is again attractive for companies to establish themselves. With the current policy, Antwerp is second in the ranking of the Financial Times for foreign investment strategy. “These awards reward the policy to develop Antwerp into an innovative and attractive business city,” said Mayor Bart De Wever.
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