Countries around the world are vying to be able to declare that they have the cleanest air on the planet. They are doing this by a number of different measures including the banning of certain fossil fuels, increasing the amount of power created by renewable sources and educating its citizens. We have previously spoken about the cities who have the unwanted tag of having the most polluted air that its inhabitants have no choice but to breathe, now it is time to take a look at some of the places on this amazing planet that have the cleanest air known to humanity.
The most common measurement for air pollution is PM2.5, which measures the amount of tiny pollution particles measuring two-and-a-half microns or less in width. These particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause serious health issues to humans. Thanks to several green initiatives, Stockholm, Sweden has managed to slash its carbon emissions by 25 percent since the 1990s and the city aims to be fossil fuel free by 2050. The city’s government is improving public transport and increasing biodiversity along with promoting non-vehicular transport such as cycling. Stockholm was the first city to be crowned European Green Capital back in 2010 and it can now boast of the cleanest air in the entire world.
Wellington, New Zealand comes in at second place in the cleanest cities in the world, with regards to air quality. The city with less than half a million inhabitants is set to enjoy even cleaner air thanks to the Welington authorities embarking on ambitious energy efficiency programmes and waste management products. Another Oceanic city with superb air quality is Canberra in Australia. Part of the reason for Canberra ranking so highly is the fact fewer than 400,000 people live there, which does give it somewhat of an unfair advantage, but the figures don’t lie; Canberra inhabitants breathe some of the cleanest air on the planet.
Thanks to a lack of industry and an abundance of nature, Honolulu in Hawaii has some of the cleanest air on the globe. Heavenly beaches and a picturesque landscape make Honolulu extremely popular with tourists and thanks to having a PM2.5 annual mean of just ug/m3: 4.27, its residents and visitors can breathe knowing they are not damaging their bodies.
Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, have a project from the 1950s to thanks for their clean air. Back in the 50s, a French architect created a 126-square mile greenbelt within the city that has all but stopped urban sprawl and has allowed nature to do its thing. Ottawa residents can also participate in a cycle share scheme which means plenty of them do not use a car to travel to and from work, which in turn help maintain amazingly clean air for everyone.
Finally, a shout out to the Tallinn of Estonia. The Estonian capital city has approximately 25 percent of its land covered in green urban areas made up of an impressive 61 parks, two conservation areas and three national landscape protection areas. Tallinn residents can also travel on public transport for free, which negates the need for cars and motorcycles, which have helped to improve the air quality for everyone.