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The cities of Copenhagen (Denmark), Vienna (Austria) and Zürich (Switzerland) are the top-ranking cities in Europe for efforts to reduce air pollution.

In an evaluation carried out by the Soot Free Cities campaign, 23 cities from across Europe were evaluated according to nine criteria. 

These included technical measures such as low-emission zones or fitting cars with particulate filters; measures to increase awareness and use of sustainable transport modes; and communication and information campaigns or financial instruments.

Zürich received an overall grade of B+ as a result of the evaluation, while Vienna and Copenhagen scored a B.

Most of the other highly ranked cities were in northern and western Europe.

No city received an A grade according to the evaluation, which would have been equivalent to receiving 90 – 100 per cent of the maximum scores for each criterion.

The evaluation and assessment was carried out by Friends of the Earth Germany(link is external). The period covered by the evaluation is 2008 – 2015, and includes some measures which are yet to be implemented.

Original author: Lewis Macdonald