Rajshahi: the city that took on air pollution – and won

In a welcome success story in the global fight against air pollution, Rajshahi, a riverside city in Bangladesh has achieved a record-breaking decrease in air pollutants since 2012, cleaning up its air more effectively than anywhere else worldwide.

Having been subject to high levels of dust from dry roads, riverbeds and fields, and smog from numerous brick kilns, the city’s concentrated efforts to improve their pollution situation over the past decade and a half are now decidedly paying off. The WHO database shows a 67.2% decrease in annual mean PM10 pollution between 2012-14, from 195µg/m3 to 63.9µg/m3. Meanwhile, PM2.5 concentration has nearly halved, from 70µg/m3 to 37µg/m3.

So what is Rajshahi’s secret? Some effective policies that the rest of the world can learn from, including:

· A tree planting drive 15 years ago
· Focus on rubbish collection and transportation
· Battery powered rickshaws
· Laying pavements
· Beginning the city’s (and country’s) first cycle lane!

Read the full story here.

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