The air we breathe in cities is becoming an enormous threat to our lives. The World Health Organization estimates that around 7 million people died in 2012 as result of air exposure. In that year that figure accounted to 1 out 8 deaths in the world. Today cities represent 70% of the global CO2 emissions.
Regularly, in the news we see the huge complexities of contaminated air in cities like Beijing. Some studies say, “the air in Beijing is so polluted that breathing it does as much damage to the lungs as smoking 40 cigarettes a day”.
This issue is not only happening in China but in many cities around the world. The following figure shows the most contaminated cities in the world.
If we want to secure healthy and sustainable cities for the next generations we need to act. We need to re-educate ourselves in the way we move, the things we eat and the products we consume in our daily life. Now is the time to make the changes we need in our urban world.
To address this challenge –and not only write about it in a post- we recently created with La Ciudad Verde a project called Low Carbon City. This project aims to start a bottom-up mobilization that leads to a reduction of emissions in our cities. This project will start with a Global Citizen Forum in October (10-12) in Medellin that will mobilize more than 3.000 urban leaders. We want to identify scalable innovative solutions that are fostering low carbon cities in the world.
More than a gathering we want to build a platform that catalyzes change connecting key stakeholders and mobilizing citizens with creative strategies. This space will support governments to measure air contamination and address policies efficiently. It will also empower grassroots organizations to inspire new behaviors in their communities.
The starting point of this mobilization will be in Medellin, a city that is ranked as one of the most contaminated city in Latin America. Also, a city where 8 people die every day due to diseases related to air contamination. We can’t do it by ourselves. We need your help to make this change happen. Join us in this crusade to build the city of our dreams.