The global Healthy Lungs for Life campaign has visited Milan as part of the European Respiratory Society’s International Congress this month (September, 2023).
Forestami is a project promoted by the Metropolitan City of Milan, the Municipality of Milan, the Regional Council of Lombardy, Parco Nord Milano, Parco Agricolo Sud Milano, ERSAF (Regional Agency for Agricultural and Forestry) and Fondazione di Comunità Milano, which involves planting 3 million trees by 2030, in order to clean the air, improve living conditions in the wider area of the city of Milan, and counter the effects of climate change.
The event saw a clean air pavilion set up on 8 and 9 September, at the Piazza XXV Aprile, Milan, Italy. People could get a free lung test, sign a petition to show their support for clean air policies and learn more about how to keep lungs healthy.
According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution causes almost 500,000 premature deaths in Europe each year, 6 million worldwide
The Healthy Lungs for Life campaign aimed to gather support in the city for policies promoting clean air, with a particular focus on the EU Air Quality Directive being debated in the European Parliament early September. It is estimated that if the limit levels of air pollution in European cities complied with the air quality guidelines of the World Health Organization, there would be a measurable benefit in terms of quality of life, in some cases, almost 2 extra years of life.
Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of the Municipality of Milan and Vice-President of C40, said: “Today, the great challenge for Milan is to improve the quality of the air we breathe in the city, to improve the health and lives of its citizens: a recent survey commissioned by C40 shows that this is an issue that worries the Milanese.
“The campaign carried out by ERS and ELF aims to explain the social, health and also economic impact of the damage caused by bad air and how this can be prevented. Milan has adopted an Air Regulation and initiated a series of policies to reduce harmful emissions, aware of its geographical location that is not favourable to air exchange. This is also why we have worked with other European cities to ensure that disadvantaged areas, such as the Po Valley, can obtain funding for interventions with better air quality as their main goal.”
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