Front-running cities changing transport, improving quality of life

Many cities in Europe are changing, according to a new report which points to rapid transformations in urban transport in some areas. While cycling and efficient public transport are becoming the norm in some urban areas, Europe’s transport sector is still a major contributor to excessive levels of greenhouse gases, air pollution and noise, the report says.

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Campaigning for the use of low-noise tyres

A Swiss communication campaign promoting the use of better tyres has won the European Soundscape Award 2013. The prize, presented by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Dutch Noise Abatement Society at the Gouden Decibel Award Ceremony in the Netherlands Tuesday evening, recognises initiatives that can help cut noise and create more attractive acoustic environments.

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Air pollution still harming health across Europe

Around 90 % of city dwellers in the European Union (EU) are exposed to one of the most damaging air pollutants at levels deemed harmful to health by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This result comes from the latest assessment of air quality in Europe, published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Van manufacturers must make new models more efficient by 2020

New vans in the European Union (EU) must become more efficient to meet carbon dioxide targets in 2017 and 2020, according to provisional data published by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Putting clean air laws in to practice – report shows potential for improvement

Air-related legislation in the EU aims to protect human health and the environment from pollution. But this legislation is not always fully implemented. Bridging this gap is the subject of a new publication from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Flood risk in Europe: the long-term outlook

Floods in Central Europe have caused deaths and widespread property damage across parts of the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Such events are likely to increase in Europe for several reasons including climate change, according to recent assessments from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Every breath we take – Signals 2013 focuses on air quality in Europe

Poor air quality can have serious impacts on our health and the environment. How is Europe’s air quality? What are the main sources of air pollutants? How do they affect our health and the environment? What does Europe do to improve air quality? The new edition of the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals takes a closer look.

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Air pollution: breaches of legal limits continued through 2010 and 2011

Air pollutant emissions were above legal limits in eight Member States in 2011, preliminary data shows. In 2010, 12 Member States exceeded these limits, according to final official data reported under the European Union’s National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive.

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Highest recycling rates in Austria and Germany – but UK and Ireland show fastest increase

Austria, Germany and Belgium recycled the largest proportion of municipal waste in Europe in 2010. Although some countries have rapidly increased recycling rates, Europe is still wasting vast quantities of valuable resources by sending them to landfill, and many countries risk falling short of legally binding recycling targets.

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Climate change and flood risk in European cities

Increased flooding is likely to be one of the most serious effects from climate change in Europe over coming decades. Some of the conditions which may contribute to urban flooding are highlighted in a map from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Fewer summer ozone peaks in 2012, but levels still harmful

Ozone pollution still exceeded target levels in Europe during summer 2012, but the number of exceedances of the alert threshold was lower than in any year since monitoring started in 1997. However, almost all EU Member States failed to keep levels of the pollutant within targets set to protect human health.

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Europe's air story told in pictures

Air is a tricky subject to photograph, but this challenge has proved to be a source of inspiration for the winners of photo storycompetition ‘ImaginAIR’, organised by the European Environment Agency (EEA).

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Berlin park wins award for its soundscape design

A city park in Berlin has won the European Soundscape Award for its innovative design which cuts traffic noise and creates a more attractive acoustic environment. The prize, presented at a ceremony in London by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS), is intended to raise awareness of the health impacts of noise and recognise initiatives that help create more tranquil environments.

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Many Europeans still exposed to harmful air pollutants

Almost a third of Europe's city dwellers are exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM), one of the most important pollutants in terms of harm to human health as it penetrates sensitive parts of the respiratory system. The EU has made progress over the past decades to reduce the air pollutants which cause acidification, but a new report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that many parts of Europe have persistent problems with outdoor concentrations of PM and ground level ozone.

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European Mobility Week 2012: Moving in the right direction

Imagine a city with clean air and little noise. A place free of congestion, where getting around town is easy. To move towards this goal, cities need to develop sustainable and efficient urban transport systems which integrate all modes of transport both in the cities and in their surrounding areas. Citizens can help by making the right choices.

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How vulnerable could your city be to climate impacts?

Climate change will affect Europe's cities in different ways. To give an overall impression of the challenge for European cities to adapt to climate change, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has published a series of detailed interactive maps, allowing users to explore data from more than 500 cities across Europe.

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Copenhagen beats Bristol and Frankfurt to win European Green Capital 2014

The city of Copenhagen in Denmark has won the European Green Capital Award for 2014, fending off strong competition from two other finalists, Bristol in England and Frankfurt in Germany. Fourteen cities entered the competition, of which three finalist cities presented their vision, action plans and communication strategies to the jury earlier this month.

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Europe's future depends on cities resilient to climate change

Around three quarters of Europeans live in cities. Most of Europe's wealth is generated in cities, and urban areas are particularly at risk due to climate change. Europe should seize the opportunity of improving quality of life while adapting to climate change in cities, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The report also warns that delaying adaptation will be much more costly in the long-term.

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Creating a quiet environment

Do you know someone who is doing something to create a healthy soundscape in your working environment, neighbourhood or municipality—implementing innovative solutions to noise problems or creating quiet green areas where the sounds of birds and bees can be enjoyed? If so, encourage them to apply for the European Soundscape Award 2012 which is open for submission from 25 April, the International Noise Awareness Day.

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More effort needed to reduce summer ozone

Ground level ozone causes health problems, decreases crop yields and damages the environment. Ozone levels exceeding certain targets in Europe were less frequent in summer 2011 than in any year since monitoring started in 1997. However, the long-term objective was exceeded in all EU Member States and it is likely many of them will not meet the target value, applicable as of 2010.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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