Blue-sky thinking: how cities can keep air clean after coronavirus
Many urban dwellers have gazed in awe at their newly clean cities over the last few months. But three – Copenhagen, Oakland and Mexico City – are leading the way in making such transformations permanent. How?
For those not directly affected, the ability to breathe more easily and see further has perhaps been the greatest consolation amid the trauma of the coronavirus pandemic.
As city after city begins to emerge from lockdown, urban planners and environmental campaigners are grappling with how to keep the clean air and blue skies that have transformed our view of the world. “Citizens around the world can see change is possible,” says Zoe Chafe, an air quality specialist with the C40 group of global megacities. “Just put yourself on the rooftop and imagine seeing mountains for the first time, and thinking how amazing it feels to realise this is possible.”