Kislovodsk has become the first Russian city to join the BreatheLife Network and commit to meeting World Health Organization air quality guidelines by 2030.
Kislovodsk, a resort city of 135,000 residents, is in the process of implementing a ten-year transformation that will bring more cycling and pedestrian paths, and car restrictions in the city centre.
The city is also introducing mobile air quality monitoring stations in different parts of the city, and is working with the Russian Ecological Society to bring together the public, business and city administrators in initiatives to reduce air pollution.
“The Russian Ecological Society is a responsible international player on the ecological agenda. As a representative of Russia, the largest country in the world, we must do our best through global cooperation and the BreatheLife project to protect our planet from air pollution,” said Dmitrii Savelev, a representative of the Russian Ecological Society.
“The resort town administration of Kislovodsk recognizes air pollution as a serious health hazard and an environmental problem,” said Alexander Kurbatov, the Mayor of Kislovodsk. “We need to take measures to raise awareness at all levels of society so we can improve health and overall well-being.”
Air quality data from the monitoring stations will be collected on an hourly basis, and will be shared with citizens on a public website to help determine best way forward.
Officials hope that by joining the BreatheLife campaign, they will be able to reduce the use of natural gas and petrol in the city. They are currently focused on increasing electric vehicles for public transport and the number of green spaces, promoting separation of municipal solid waste, installing solar-powered street lighting and promoting solar energy for household heating.
Kislovodsk is the first of many Russian cities working with the Russian Ecological Society that will hopefully join BreatheLife. Working together, they will help inspire action across the region, and around the world.