Wednesday 20 February 2019 6.00 – 8.00 pm
Venue: The Building Centre, Store Street, London WC1E 7BT
Chaired by: Duncan Price, BuroHappold Engineering
Rachel Huxley – Director of Knowledge and Learning, C40Cities Climate Leadership Group
Jo Barnes – University of the West of England, Air Quality Management Resource Centre
Lucy Wood – Director, Barton Willmore
Not since the Clean Air Acts of the 1950s has the imperative to change the way we dump our waste into the air been so urgent. These days it is the invisible gases CO2, NO2 they are hard to measure and quantify but the impacts are starting to be felt further down the line: climate change and the urban heat island effect, increases in respiratory and other health problems related to air quality. All these have a financial as well as social cost and the arguments for doing something about them are irrefutable. We now include air quality as a measure of the attractiveness of cities worldwide. How will we hold our cities to account over air quality in a post-Brexit Britain? We need to empower communities around locations such as schools to create pressure for action. Transport has become an obvious target for action: more active travel, less private car journeys, reduction of diesel engines and replacement with low emission technologies. New models in the sharing economy sound good, but, for example, private diesel vans still compete for delivery business in large numbers on our streets. Do we need to change the financial model – or at least our online shopping habits? Buildings are often forgotten as one of the major sources of CO2 in our cities – we have covered this in previous City Conversations, notably A Breath of Fresh Air. What we learned is that the same air quality issues can arise inside buildings as they do outside if we don’t look at them as part of the bigger picture. To discuss these issues we have invited a panel of experts in various to help us define what we should be doing as professionals and citizens to tackle these problems in a post-Brexit world.