Ramboll Presents: Clean Air.


Clean air! We want it, but we don’t have it!

According to the World Health Organisation, a total of 8 million people dies every year because of air pollution. On top of this, 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds recommended limits.

This is a huge problem!

And it’s not just a problem we can defer to distant regions far from Europe. In fact, air pollution is the biggest environmental health risk in Europe according to the European Environment Agency.

But far from enough is being done to solve it…

According to a Ramboll study, air quality is rated lowest when Danes describe the city, they live in. At the same time, it is also the factor which most Danes rate as crucial for creating an attractive city.

Looking at the facts this comes from a country which can pride themselves of having close to the best air quality in the world. And if that’s the case, where does that leave those countries who are not so well off when it comes to air quality? We believe it’s fair to say: The world wants clean air, but doesn’t have it!

Keywords: Air quality, air pollution, sustainable cities, attractive cities, new cities.

Innovation Challenge:

This is our challenge to you: When imagining NEW CITIES on a global scale, what does that look like from an air quality perspective? How can we ensure better air quality for all, decrease mortality and help solve the climate crisis?

And how can we approach this problem from new angles that speed up solving the problem? What incentive structures will prime cities to act now and how can we commercialize air quality to create solutions with a sustainable business model – both financially and environmentally?


The only real criteria to your solutions are that it must be ethically responsible, financially viable, and environmentally sustainable.

Other than that, we don’t want to narrow the scope for your suggestions but rather allow you to attack the problem from any angle you can come up with. We are though, happy to share what we believe will be crucial for a solution to work:

What incentive structure will make cities and citizens act? Currently, we don’t necessarily see an eagerness for cities to share or investigate the state of their air quality because it could result in decreases in property, people leaving the city or alike. Also, who is willing to pay for solving the problem – will the citizens be willing to accept an increase in taxes or can this be done without involving citizen funds?


Thomas Dünweber  (Senior Consultant) Email: TD@ramboll.com