Brussels air quality initiative highlights differences in air pollution between rich and poor

By Matthew Collings / Updated: 08 Apr 2022

Results from an air quality project carried out in Brussels, Belgium has highlighted differentiations between air pollution levels across different neighbourhoods. Poorer neighbourhoods were observed to have higher pollution levels than neighbourhoods with richer residents.

The CurieuzenAir initiative was a citizen-led project in which 3,000 residents measured the nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels outside their homes using measuring tubes. These measurements were carried out between 25 September and 23 October 2021.

The results of the initiative showed that 1.4% of residents in Brussels were living in areas with air quality levels over the 40 µg/m3 European air quality standards. Furthermore, 98.4% of Brussels residents were living with air quality levels over the World Health Organization’s new air quality standard of 10 µg/m3. These results were also highlighted in an interactive dot map.

High levels of air pollution have a wide-ranging effect on the health of residents. The results of projects such as CurieuzenAir can show these harmful levels of air pollutants whilst also engaging residents and providing evidence-based data to policymakers so that they can work on creating better traffic flows in neighbourhoods with high levels of air pollution. Policies can then be introduced to create Low Emission Zones or promote cycling.


The original article was posted on the Cities-Today website.

Photo Credit: © Andrii Zastrozhnov / - no permission to re-use image(s) without separate licence from Shutterstock.

Mobility management
Monitoring and evaluation