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Urban Air Quality—Who’s Up and Who’s Down?

Forbes issued a recent global report on which cities are currently winning (or losing) the war for cleaner air.


Urban Air Quality
  1. Topping the “good” air-quality list of 480 global cities is Zurich, Switzerland, with PM2.5 levels of just 0.5 µg/m3.

  2. In the US, Omaha, Nebraska, has seen a list-topping decrease of 1.1 µg/m3 in PM2.5 levels since 2019.

  3. Globally, Ulan Bator, Mongolia, has seen the greatest air quality improvements in the world since 2019, thanks in part to a government ban on burning coal. The capital city of Mongolia, Ulan Bator has seen PM2.5 levels decline by 23.4 µg/m3.

  4. In Europe, North Macedonia’s capital, Skopje, has gone from most polluted European capital city to having the biggest decrease in PM2.5 particles, falling by 12.4 µg/m3. Skopje’s Green City Action Plan helped it achieve this positive ranking.

  5. On the other hand, among national capitals, Baghdad, Iraq, has experienced the worst increase in air pollution, with PM2.5 levels rising by 31.6 µg/m3.

  6. Since 2019, the city of Dammam, Saudi Arabia, has seen the worst air quality declines of any city in the world, thanks to hosting the world’s largest airport (King Fahd International). Dammam has seen PM2.5 levels rise by 111.1 µg/m3.

  7. For Europe, the Spanish city of Salamanca has seen PM2.5 levels increase the most by 5.1 µg/m3.


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