Next Thursday is Clean Air Day 2019, and we’re parking a car in Bonn Square and filling it with smoke, and we want you to be there!
The plan, which is still subject to approval from the Oxford City Council Events Board later this week, is to create an eye-catching installation in the town centre to draw attention to the risks posed by air pollution from cars to passengers INSIDE the cars themselves. Research has shown that:
“The levels of air pollution drivers experience while stuck in traffic jams is 140% worse than it is for pedestrians outside — and is equivalent to passively smoking a couple of cigarettes.
And yet despite these disturbing figures, a new study suggests a worrying nine out of 10 drivers remain unaware of the dangers of in-car pollution.”
However, most car users don’t realise they might be sitting in dangerous fumes. We want to render the invisible visible, by using smoke from a disco smoke machine to represent dangerous air.
Alongside the car opposite the Westgate (we had initially asked to use Frideswide Square, but were turned down due to a potential distraction to drivers in moving vehicles), we plan to approach members of the public to ask whether they drove or took an alternative means of transport into town that day.
For those who drove, we will let them know about the research showing the dangers of in-car air, and hand over a simple face mask ‘for a safer journey home’; we also want to ask each driver what would have made leaving the car at home possible that day, so we can feed that back to the relevant authorities.
For those who walked, cycled or took some form of public transport, we will be thanking them for contributing to a cleaner and safer city, and handing out stickers or certificates of thanks (details tbc!). This part of the action is inspired by Oxfordshire Liveable Streets, who gave us the idea with their recent action! We hope they will join us on Thursday.
We had the best time this morning! Thank you to the many cyclists, walkers and bus users who stopped to take their 20p and some propaganda.
And a huge thanks to the many, many liveability advocates who came out to support. Felt like swarming!
— Oxfordshire Liveable Streets (@OxLivSts) April 26, 2019
How you can help:
Come along on the day to help with talking to people or even if just to say hello to the team;
Help with creating materials and banners for the day – get in touch if you can offer your artistic abilities to make something effective!
If you can help, please get in touch!
- Higher air pollution health risk inside car, study finds, Air Quality News Feb 2016
- BBC video November 2017: ‘Air quality is worse inside your car’
Listings for Clean Air Day 2019 events: https://www.lowcarbonwestoxford.org.uk/calendar/tag_ids~585/