Cities Outlook 2020 - Centre for Cities

Disclaimer *This resource is about air pollution. It is not specifically about the High Street but has been included in response to requests for more studies/information about this topic, as well as linking to liveable and walking priorities for High Street vitality and viability*. This report by Centre for Cities focuses on air pollution as an urban problem in the UK. It highlights the worst affected areas, sources of air pollution, what the government should do about it and how it affects people’s health. It also covers the latest data on indicators for economic performance in urban areas.

Date added 7 October 2021
Last updated 15 October 2021

This report by Centre for Cities focuses on air pollution as an urban problem in the UK. It highlights the worst affected areas, sources of air pollution, what the government should do about it and how it affects people’s health. It also covers the latest data on indicators for economic performance in urban areas.

The report draws on The Daily Air Quality Index (DAQI) which measures daily air quality in a place on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (very high) and ranks cities in the UK on a list according to how many days DAQI measured a scored above 4. A score of 4 or above can affect people with lung or heart problems, whilst 7 or above could have immediate impacts on people even without existing health issues. Daily values are on average between 2 and 4, however, some areas might have spikes not captured by this average. The report states that transport is the main source of NO2emissions yet only one. Nationally, road transport accounts for 34% of all NO2emissions however, on a city level it is 42% and it represents the biggest source of local NO2in 54 UK cities.

Clean Air Zones have been implemented to tackle air pollution challenges generally and to keep NO2emissions within legal limits. Clean Air Zone are for example ‘charging’ zones, where vehicles that do not meet the emission standards are charged a fee, or ‘non-charging’ where fees are not imposed but depend on other measures to improve air quality. These other measures include for example developing cycle lanes, improving public transport or introducing traffic-flow management.

Lastly, the report also gives an overview of indicators for economic performance of urban areas to demonstrate variation between the strongest and weakest performing places of each indicator. The indicators cover:

  • Population
  • Productivity
  • Employment
  • Skills
  • Wages
  • Housing
  • Business dynamics
  • Digital connectivity
  • Innovation
  • Environment