La contaminación

Version 2A high pressure weather system has been parked over Granada for the past three weeks, delivering one sunny day after another. With no wind to blow the dirty air over the hills and no rain to wash it away, we’ve instead watched it accumulate—to dangerous levels and above limits set by the EU, according to a recent news story. It’s a persistent problem.

Diesel cars and boilers (we have one), motorcycle exhaust, and open burning of post-harvest agricultural waste are contributors. I think cigarette smoke should be acknowledged, too, at least for polluting the air on sidewalks and at outdoor cafes.

Granada has a plan to improve air quality, but some of the big programs—a light rail line, a bike rental program, an incentive program for hybrid cars—are stalled or have otherwise not been executed. At least progress has been made in limiting car and bus traffic through the city center—we appreciate how pedestrian-friendly it is.

With mixed feelings we welcome rainy and cold weather today.

2 thoughts on “La contaminación

  1. merediemartinez

    It sounds like the city is focusing on alternative transportation and other preventive measures for cleaner air. That is promising! When I was in Santiago, Chile inversion and air pollution was a problem so residents were only allowed to drive on certain days of the week. They also had an amazing public transportation system, but with the mountains and pollution, there were still days when the air quality was very poor. I hope the rain helped!

    Reply
    1. ellentveit Post author

      What a difference a day of rain made! The air looks so clear now, it’s like looking at the skyline in hi-def versus watching an analog TV screen coated in cigarette smoke and dust.

      One important factor Granada has working in its favor is population density. Most people live in apartment/condo blocks or rowhouses, and the overall footprint of the city is relatively small, so buses, LRT and bike sharing are all more likely to have high usage. If the buses follow their posted schedule, that is.

      Reply

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