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Shanghai is one of the Chinese cities facing severe air pollution challenges which are directly related to the rapid economic and industrial growth in Shanghai and the larger Yangtze Delta. Shanghai is China’s largest and currently the world eighth largest city with a population of 18.58 million and 6340 square kilometers. Air pollution levels in Shanghai, while lower than in Beijing are well above both Chinese standards and WHO guideline values. Pollutants of special concern are fine particulates (PM2.5) and ozone.
As demonstrated in previous Olympic Games (Los Angeles, Seoul, Atlanta and recently Beijing), major international events provide unique opportunities to catalyze air quality management in the cities. Shanghai hosted the World EXPO from May to October 2010, and as part of its ongoing environmental planning (2009-2011) prepared a special Air Quality Plan for the World Expo which guided preparations for air quality management for the World Expo while at the same time boosting Air Quality Management in the medium and long term in Shanghai. This is very relevant especially that the theme of Expo 2010 is "Better City, Better Life," representing the common wish of the whole humankind for a better living in future urban environments.
A successful and effective Air Quality Action Plan needs to cover a broad range of air quality issues, involve a broad group of stakeholders beyond only the government, extend beyond the city boundaries, and have a medium term focus so that activities continue after the mega-event is over. Similar to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the EXPO 2010 provided a unique opportunity to sensitize decision-makers and use the process to improve the Air Quality Plan to develop policies that include a broader range of air quality issues, extend beyond Shanghai’s boundaries into the Yangtze Delta and surrounding provinces, and continue after EXPO 2010.
Shanghai wanted to learn from other cities with past or planned mega-events. There are several other Asian cities that host mega-events: Hong Kong (East Asian Games 2009), Guangzhou (Asian Games 2010), Singapore (inaugural Youth Olympics 2010), and Delhi (Commonwealth Games 2010).
Clean Air Asia supported the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau with a survey of environmental / air quality plans of cities with past or future “mega-events.” This analysis fed into a stakeholder workshop jointly organized with SEPB in July 2009.
Clean Air Asia also assisted Shanghai in improving its communication with stakeholders on air quality. A
“Clean Air at Mega-Events Website” was launched (soft launch in April 2010 and formal launch in July 2010) to provide online guidance on AQM to cities organizing mega-events in the future. After the EXPO, a Post-Expo workshop was organized to capture lessons from Shanghai and share experiences with cities in China and other cities organizing mega-events.
Donor: Fu Tak Iam Foundation (FTI)
Partners: Shanghai EPB, SEMC
Duration: April 2009 - Jan 2011
Clean Air Asia contacts:
Kaye Patdu, kaye.patdu(at)cleanairasia.org
May Ajero, may.ajero(at)cleanairasia.org
Wei Wan, wei.wan(at)cleanairasia.org
We are grateful to the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Ltd. for their sponsorship of the "Blue Skies at Shanghai Expo 2010 and Beyond" project.