Dr Schiano-Phan highlights the increasing consequences of pollution in London, one of the most polluted cities in Europe. The UK has been exceeding legal limits set by the EU Air Quality Standards since 2010 and no government body has accepted responsibility, according to her.
Talking about the effects of short-term exposure to pollution, Dr Schiano-Phan said: “Air quality is becoming a huge barrier to passive design in dense city centres, causing increased use of mechanical ventilation and cooling in buildings. This in turn creates a vicious cycle of pollution, energy use and carbon emissions.”
She calls for a multidisciplinary approach to solve London’s air quality problem as no sanctions have been implemented by the UK or by the EU. “We need better, more holistic planning policies that include built environment based air pollution strategies, localised monitoring and fresh research which can correlate to the impact of human activities, in both outdoor and indoor spaces in the city.”
Discussing the consequences of Brexit on UK air quality legislation, Dr Schiano-Phan said it would be counterproductive to relax any of the current standards set by the EU. She concluded: “It is important that direct accountability is found, and more stringent and comprehensive measures applied.”