In these European cities, people live in unhealthy environments
Where do people want to live in Europe? This decision is of course a personal one; countries and regions have different advantages and disadvantages – from affordability to weather, from cultural to political offerings. Health aspects also play a role and are definitely included in worldwide rankings of cities worth living in.
At the research institute ISGlobal, the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, the focus is on European cities and their health burden. On a website, the institution compiles its ranking results, which are based on studies. A top place here, however, means particularly poor conditions. In terms of air pollution, cities in northern Italy, the eastern Czech Republic and southern Poland are ahead in terms of the smallest particulate matter (PM2.5). Brescia is in first place, followed by Bergamo.
No breathing space in Madrid, Paris and Brussels
In these industrially heavily polluted regions, the absolute average annual amount of particulate matter is relatively high. However, the evaluation is also about mortality in this context, for example, and how many premature deaths could be avoided each year if the cities adhered to the WHO recommendations on maximum limits that have been in force up to now and that have recently been tightened up.
The ranking on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution shows more major and large cities. Behind Madrid (1), Antwerp (2) and Turin (3) are Paris (4), Milan (5), Barcelona (6) and in 8th place Brussels. At the other end of the air pollution scales, which takes into account 858 cities, are mainly Scandinavian regions.
For the Netherlands, Almere scores best and is in the green zone for particulate matter and NO2. When it comes to particulate matter, the air quality in Heerlen is the worst; when it comes to NO2, the air quality in Rotterdam and Amsterdam is not good.