Surely, we need businesses to be back up and running as soon as possible to save our economy, we don’t want anything to get in the way of this?
We will all welcome local businesses opening up again in our communities and we know how hard the lockdown has been on small companies. We also know shopping locally, by foot or by bike, is a great way to keep pollution down in our neighbourhood. However, as businesses open up again, residents are asking that they do so in a way which does not bring air pollution back with them. This might mean that they reconsider how they deliver, how they manage waste, and how they clean their premises.
Why do you want to collect this information and what will it be used for?
The coronavirus lockdown has called a halt to many activities which are causes of air pollution. These changes are particularly noticeable for inner city communities. We are interested in how people are experiencing these changes and whether they have found that any aspects of their lives have improved. We are particularly keen to hear from those in the Lambeth and Southwark area as we are studying the impact of the lack of pollution on inner city areas, but we are also keen to hear insights from across the UK.
Alongside the sharing of these images we will be carrying out further in-depth research on how air pollution affects the residents of Lambeth and Southwark. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to get involved.
We will be using these photos and videos as part of a case for better air quality in Lambeth and Southwark post lockdown, and to guide policy makers on what is most important to residents. The feedback will form the basis of the campaign to encourage local businesses to minimise air pollution as they return to work and inform how communities can support local business in a way that is good for air quality. The wider insights from across the UK will help to build a shared vision of what a low pollution lifestyle could look like which will guide those campaigning for cleaner air.
Where are you going to use my photos or videos and will my personal details be used?
The photos and videos will be used on Global Action Plan's owned social media accounts as well as social media accounts of charities and organisations campaigning for cleaner air. They will be used in reports and policy documents by those who are working to see cleaner air. We will be using the name which you give us as part of your recorded permission statement but no other personal details about you.
Who are the organisations organising this and why are they involved?
The charity leading this insight gathering campaign is called Global Action Plan. We are the organisers of Clean Air Day and part of the clean air movement.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity are an independent urban health foundation which works with Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and others to improve health in the London boroughs.
Why are you talking about air pollution now when we are in the middle of a pandemic?
Air pollution kills many people in the UK each year and harms the health of millions particularly young children and those with heart or lung problems. If the air in our cities and towns was cleaner, we would likely be better protected against the impacts of viruses such as coronavirus as well as having healthier lives from one year to the next. We understand the difficulties many people are currently experiencing and only encourage those to take part who are able to do so safely.
Lockdown merely gives us a chance to experience life with fewer cars on the road and less pollution, as well as an opportunity to think about how we can behave in a way which maintains these reductions. When we go back to the new normal, we want to encourage policy makers, businesses and local governments to play a role in making our air cleaner.
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