The plan was unveiled on 10 November during the conference “Greener and Healthier Lisbon: The Challenges of Air Pollution” at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

According to Pedro Oliveira, of the Municipal Direction of Environment, Green Structure, Climate and Energy of the city council, the about 200 sensors will be installed in the scope of six projects and placed in several areas of the city, “to know, in detail, the quality of the air” and with the objective to develop “more specific measures”.

According to the presentation, 80 of these sensors will measure NOE (nitrogen dioxide) in various parts of the city for two years, and others to measure atmospheric particles will be placed in CML’s fleet vehicles, on bicycles and in horticulture parks. One hundred of these sensors will also be placed “in Lisbon’s ‘hot spots’ and background areas’ for sampling.

Among the areas, that the municipality plans on monitoring, are the crematoria (Alto de S. João, Olivais I and II and Carnide), considered as an “important sources of pollutants”, the airport surroundings, the air extraction system of the Lisbon Metro and the surroundings of the Lisbon Cruise Terminal.

Pedro Oliveira considered that, “if people have more information, they will certainly adopt more conscious measures”, so he said that the municipality will also produce maps of distribution of the various pollutants, reactivate the Lisbon Channel to disseminate information on air quality, as well as use the website of the municipality.

According to Dília Jardim, from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), an average of 6,000 premature deaths occur every year due to air pollution in Portugal. Worldwide, this figure is seven million deaths per year.

“In Europe, air pollution causes on average more than one thousand premature deaths per day, which is ten times the number of deaths in road accidents. So this is a silent death, while the traffic accident is visible to all of us and shocks us,” he said.