June Newsletter: Clean Air Plz

3 min read
A blue "Clean air zone" street sign on a London street.
Photo by ell-r-brown

Hello neighbours!

The sun is shining, the neighbourhood is in bloom, and today is Clean Air Day, so this seems like a good time to bring you the latest updates on what’s happening with our neighbourhood's commitment to cleaner air and sustainable living.

Celebrating Clean Air Day – June 15th

Whether we live in a terraced house or a block of flats, most of us want to know that when we open our windows or go outside we are breathing clean air. But right now, for too many people, this isn’t the case. So, today, we're joining hands with communities around the country to recognise Clean Air Day. This initiative, hosted by Action for Clean Air encourages each of us to contribute to reducing pollution levels in our local environments. From driving less often to promoting homegrown plants, everyone can make a difference. This year’s Clean Air Day falls two days after an air pollution alert was issued for London. Tuesday June 12th was the 201st day of either moderate or high levels of air pollution Londoners have experienced over the last five years. The health impacts of dirty air are just one reason for supporting the local Liveable Neighbourhood scheme.

If you’re interested, check out local group, Islington Clean Air Parents, a network of parents and carers working together with the relevant authorities to significantly reduce air pollution around schools in Islington.

ULEZ Expansion – a breath of fresh air

When we see our children coughing after playing outside or black smoke coming out of an exhaust, we worry about the impact the air we breathe is having on our lungs and the health of the people we love. That’s why we are so excited about the forthcoming Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion on August 29th. The ULEZ reduces harmful emissions by charging people to drive older, more polluting vehicles in London. It’s working: Islington has been within the ULEZ since 2019 and has already benefited from significant reductions in roadside emissions. This summer’s expansion will mean cleaner air for us all, since air pollution doesn't respect borough borders. It will especially benefit London’s most vulnerable residents, including children and the elderly.

Another group worth looking at is Mums for Lungs. They’re a grassroots organisation campaigning for clean air for everyone — particularly children and babies. Most members are ordinary people with no specialist background in air pollution. Everyone is welcome, and you don’t have to be a parent to get involved.

Let’s turn tarmac into Parklets

A parklet allows people or businesses to apply to use a parking bay for communal purposes, reclaiming the space for seating and plants. Community parklets are created by residents not by professional gardeners. In Islington, Mayton Street was the first community parklet, helping to inspire the movement here; it even has frogs! Read Rachael's post where she explains some of the history behind the movement.

Parklets are another way to make our streets more pleasant as part of the Liveable Neighbourhood scheme. You can learn more, and even apply to create your own parklet, at the Islington Greener Together page.

Cally Festival – July 2nd

The Cally Festival pulls together the community around Caledonian Road and Islington, celebrating our local culture and community for a day of live music, storytelling, workshops, food and creativity. There are activities and fun for all ages, so come along and check it out on Sunday July 2nd. We’ll be there!

Thanks for reading!

Together, we can make a significant impact on the quality of our air and life in Islington. We’re so glad to have you with us on this journey toward a cleaner, greener, and healthier neighbourhood. Your support and input are invaluable.

For more updates, see our website and follow us on Twitter.