King’s College London Air website has made a great contribution to surveying and analysing London’s air pollution problems but hangs up its gloves when faced with the question: CAN ANYTHING BE DONE ABOUT THIS? King’s say ‘a long term problem that has not been easy to solve’. Fair enough: they are scientists. Solving the air pollution problem requires the vision and imagination of urban landscape designers. I’ve taken advice from a few of them. London should:
- Make every street a greener street, with more vegetation, more space for cyclists, more space for pedestrians – and less space for air polluting vehicles
- Remove on-street car parking in Central London, except for disabled people
- Increase the level of investment in cycle lanes, between two-fold and ten-fold.
- Make car-share of electric vehicles the most financially attractive choice in the suburbs
- Assess a sewerage charge for each dwelling, to encourage green roofs and sustainable drainage in gardens
- Follow Oslo’s example and set a target for making the Central Business District car free.