On Thursday, a conference organized by the Municipality of Cracow, the French Embassy and the Consulate of the Republic of France, was held to exchange insights and experiences on the fight to improve air quality. The meeting was opened by the Mayor Jacek Majchrowski. Among the guests were: Julie Roussarie, Air and Environment Chief Specialist of the City of Bordeaux and Frédéric Bouvier, Director and Chairman of Airparif Aerophile (the French equivalent of the Provincial Inspector of Environmental Protection).
“For many years Cracow has been actively working to improve air quality. Our actions, even small, focus on what is possible in law. We focus not only on the replacement of furnaces, but also on the gradual conversion of public transport vehicles to ecological, that meet the highest standard, Euro6, and electrical. We are the only city in Poland, which has a bus line fully supported by electrical vehicles.”– said Jacek Majchrowski.
The Mayor recalled that, in accordance with the regulations introduced in Cracow, from 2019 in the city the burning of charcoal will be banned.
“We use the experiences of cities that have similar problems. For example, the introduction of free communication in days with high concentrations of pollutants is modeled on the activities of Paris.” – said Jacek Majchrowski.
General Consul of France in Poland reminded that Cracow is rewarded for the efforts and is a pioneer among Polish cities vying for clean air. “Thanks to the commitment of the authorities, Cracow won EkoMiasto in the modernization of public transport.” – said Frédéric de Touchet.
Dr. Anita Bokwa from the Jagiellonian University mentioned the specific location of Cracow. “The city lies in the basin, it is surrounded by hills, which favors maintaining the pollution.” – said Dr. Anita Bokwa. Therefore, causes of smog in Cracow and Bordeaux are different.
Julie Roussarie indicated that Bordeaux geographical position contributes to a better ventilation of the city. “The main cause of pollution in Bordeaux are vehicles. In terms of low emissions, the city is taking steps to change coal stoves into modern ones.” – said Julie Roussarie.
In the last part, they discussed on solutions that contribute to improved air quality in cities.
After the conference, guests from France, together with representatives of Cracow went on an electric MPK bus.