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Air Quality in African Cities


Year published: 2023
Categories: Report
URL Link: https://unhabitat.org/air-quality-in-african-cities

Author / Authors:

  • Dr. Rafael Borge Garcia


This report contains a comparative analysis of five African cities in terms of their air pollution problem, as well as their attempts to manage and improve air quality. Also included is an analysis of the impact of countermeasures to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021 in those cities, and the impact that these had on air pollution levels. While many indicators show that progress is being made in African cities towards achieving sustainable development goals, air quality in African cities has been steadily declining over the past years and decades in conjunction with the unfolding rapid urbanisation process.

At the same time, comparably little attention has been given domestically, but also by the international community, to this growing urban challenge. The report underlines that an approach is needed that integrates urban development policies, strategies, and plans with those aiming at climate change mitigation in cities, as well as the development of different sectors of the urban economy. Lastly, air pollution is a transboundary phenomenon that requires to also consider the city-region context. The report concludes with a set of policy recommendations for tackling this growing urban challenge.


  • Report