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posted by martyb on Saturday May 14 2016, @04:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the clean-it-up dept.

Over 80 percent of the world's city dwellers breathe poor quality air, increasing their risk of lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report warned Thursday.

Urban residents in poor countries are by far the worst affected, WHO said, noting that nearly every city (98 percent) in low- and middle-income countries has air which fails to meet the UN body's standards.

That number falls to 56 percent of cities in wealthier countries.

"Urban air pollution continues to rise at an alarming rate, wreaking havoc on human health," Maria Neira, the head of WHO's department of public health and environment, said in a statement.

There may be something to this--children in New York City are twice as likely to be hospitalized for asthma as the national average.


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  • (Score: 1) by milsorgen on Saturday May 14 2016, @05:46PM

    by milsorgen (6225) on Saturday May 14 2016, @05:46PM (#346116)

    One can't help but wonder if when we look back will personal vehicles be seen as an overall boon or bust? Seems everything from our health to the very way our cities have been built has ended up suffering over the long haul.

    --
    On the Oregon Coast, born and raised, On the beach is where I spent most of my days...
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14 2016, @06:27PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14 2016, @06:27PM (#346128)

    You forgot to mention how you posted your comment from your phone while you were waiting 30 minutes for the next bus to arrive.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15 2016, @01:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15 2016, @01:31AM (#346232)

      while you were waiting 30 minutes for the next bus

      During peak hours, the #60 bus here runs every 12 minutes.
      Following the same path, the 560 Bravo bus only stops at major intersections, making for a quicker commute for those traveling longer distances and/or not needing to board/exit at intermediate stops.
      The 543 Bravo bus does that going north-south.
      The 557 Bravo line too.

      If your transit department isn't getting it done, why aren't you bitching out loud about that to the folks with the power to change things?

      ...and while you're waiting for something to happen, you can't think of *anything* interesting to do with that gadget you carry??

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 2) by butthurt on Sunday May 15 2016, @05:50AM

      by butthurt (6141) on Sunday May 15 2016, @05:50AM (#346319) Journal

      GP mentioned "the very way our cities have been built." If not for the space devoted to motorways, parking lots, and repair shops, cities could be somewhat smaller and trips could be shorter. If not for the way that the automobile makes long trips convenient, housing, industry, schools, hospitals, and shopping would be sized and placed differently, so that long journeys wouldn't be an everyday event. Instead of waiting half an hour for a bus, then spending another half hour riding it, bus trips could be quicker, and walking or bicycling could be practical options.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Saturday May 14 2016, @09:26PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 14 2016, @09:26PM (#346166) Journal
    If we ignore the immense benefit that cars have brought over the last century, then of course, it's a bust. It's a boon otherwise.

    The problem here is that people choose to live this way. While mass transit isn't everywhere, it is enough places that we can see that there is a clear preference among most people to live in suburbs and deal with traffic over living next to a mass transit node and riding the train or bus.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15 2016, @01:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15 2016, @01:06AM (#346224)

      a clear preference among most people to live in suburbs

      Do you have a map to that wonderful city which has 30 percent of its housing stock unoccupied such that that is a viable option to looking farther away?
      Y'know, a place where folks can pick and choose from a wide selection of available properties.
      Extra points if those places are affordable.

      people choose to live this way

      Most folks pretty much take pot luck and are thankful that they found that.
      Gentrification is but one of the items making things more difficult.

      The more you describe things, the less your existence sounds like the world in which most people live.

      -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday May 20 2016, @05:27AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 20 2016, @05:27AM (#348633) Journal

        Do you have a map to that wonderful city which has 30 percent of its housing stock unoccupied such that that is a viable option to looking farther away?

        Here you go. [google.com] Only problem is that a city with 30 percent of its housing stock unoccupied tends to be a dive like Detroit.

        people choose to live this way

        Most folks pretty much take pot luck and are thankful that they found that.

        I think you're unclear on what choice and preference mean. It doesn't mean getting what you want all the time. Nor is this some lottery where you're given a random piece of property and have to make do with what you get. Sure, if you don't want to put any time in, it's luck of the draw what will be on the market at the time and your ability to negotiate will be limited. But if you're willing to put some time in, then there are a lot of real estate choices available.

        The crowded city centers are not something you can wish away. It still means a lot of people prefer not to live there in those conditions and have chosen not to do so. Humanity has had a long time to work on making cities more pleasant with modest success. They still haven't figured it out (in large part because too many people is a huge negative) and most solutions these days are the strategy of making the more rural alternatives so inconvenient that city centers look attractive in comparison.