Health effects of air pollution

Breathing space

20 March 2020

Insights into air pollution in inner cities and its impact on people’s health

Poor air quality often makes the headlines, but less is known about what genuinely works to reduce its impact on people’s health.

As an urban health foundation, we are setting out to find solutions from our place in the heart of London.

To help develop our ten-year programme we’ve looked at the evidence, analysed local data and explored how people experience the issue in our inner-city area.

The causes of air pollution in inner cities

How do the ways we get around, construction, the built environment, and other aspects of how we live affect air quality in cities? 


Proving that public health has been improved is a complicated and costly process, but it is the only way to guarantee that an intervention has been effective and is worthy of being implemented.

Frank Kelly Professor of Environmental Health, King's College London

The solutions to tackling air pollution

Poor air quality often makes the headlines and there is significant research on the damage it is doing to our health. But what genuinely works to reduce its impact on our health?


We don’t expect this to be easy - we will need to bring together leading experts in atmospheric science, transport, construction, behavioural economics and political science. By working in place we can broaden this coalition to include those with real levers for change - schools, the NHS, local businesses and citizens themselves.

Kate Langford Programme Director, Impact on Urban Health

Our approach

A deeper understanding of our typical inner city could hold the key to solutions we can share with the world. We’re running a ten-year programme to tackle air pollution in inner cities.