Transportation is a massive issue in Turin, which is the hometown of Fiat. Transportation pollution is killing my fellow residents. This unnecessary dying has to stop.
Turin’s health and transportation problem
Turin is the worst city in Italy for PM10 pollution. The European Environmental Agency states that the Po Valley (where Turin is) is the area after Greece with the worst concentration of particulates (PM10), ozone and nitrogen dioxide pollutants. The effects of this pollution are severe. When normalised by population, the highest number of transportation-attributable air pollution deaths globally are in Milan and Turin, says the ICCT. In Italy, there are 80k deaths by air pollution every year. 85% of PM10 air pollution generated by Turin is due to transportation, which makes it the most important cause of air pollution death. Cars are already killing 110 people and injuring 8.400 people in Turin every year. They are also killing people indirectly through deadly fumes. Our individualistic preference for cars is killing us. We need to change our car culture.
What the Municipality is doing
The municipality of Turin has enacted many measures to combat this pollution. The 2nd line of the metro (which can reduce car movements by 170k per day) will be built by 2028. Municipal employees can benefit from smart working three days a month. A bike parking near the central train station will safely host more than 100 bikes. The public transport company bought seventy-four new Euro 6 buses. Six new areas are becoming pedestrian. Seven hundred seventy new charging EV stations will make owning an electric car more convenient. More stringent limitations for inefficient diesel vehicles will curb emissions. Finally, electric scooters are sprawling across the city.
Suggestions for improvement
While there are already more than 200km of bike lanes, people cannot map their route online, as Google Maps doesn’t support the cycling alternative in Italy. The Municipality should collaborate with Google to enable planning alternative bike routes. Fin out the little known reasons Google is a super sustainable company by clicking here. Tesla should open its first Tesla store in Turin, as two already exist in Milan. Public transportation needs to be strengthened, as many people cannot rely on a currently unreliable network. We also need clear pollution-reduction objectives and a municipal sustainability report. Vacant low-density buildings should be demolished (we have 60k vacant apartments) and given back to nature, as low-density areas make public transportation uneconomical.
Heat Island and Pollution
The air pollution problem is only one of many that Turin faces. Another very severe one is the heat island effect, for which temperatures in the city can be 6 degrees warmer than in the surrounding areas. Older people die because of it, and extreme heatwaves are getting more frequent every year. They might become a yearly event as global warming intensifies. Combine extreme heat with wildfire pollution and an already-toxic city, and you get a public health bomb. This disgusting cocktail already happened in October 2017, when the Municipality advised marathon runners to “run slowly” because of near-record pollution.
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Legambiente – Turin worst city in Italy
EEA – Air quality Po Valley
EEA – Annual deaths
Car injuries and deaths in Turin
ICTT – Milan and Turin have most transportation-attributable air pollution deaths globally
ARPA – 85% of PM10 generated by transports in Turin
Chiara Appendino (mayor) – What is the City doing on sustainability
La Stampa – Vacant apartments in Turin
Il Corriere – Near record pollution in October 2017