About Unmask My City
We want clean air in our cities to protect our health and our climate.
Just like the anti-tobacco campaigns of the late 20th century, doctors are sounding alarms about the health risks of poor air quality in our cities. Air pollution is now responsible for over 6.5 million premature deaths per year.  Exposing people to harmful levels of air pollution increases the risks of heart disease, lung cancer, respiratory diseases and stroke.
Children, the elderly and those already suffering from a disease are especially vulnerable. But, unlike smoking, people cannot simply choose to stop breathing. Personal face masks are an ineffective and inadequate response given the scale of the challenge. The solutions that lead to better human and planetary health are much bigger, and while they start with our choices, they are realised by our communities, and our decision makers.
Radiologist, Dr Katarzyna Przybył wears an LED light mask that change colour according to real time measurements of local air pollution levels. Green means air quality inside the hospital is good, but outside it is a different story.
Who we are
Doctors, nurses, public health practitioners and allied healthcare professionals are dedicated to improving the health of patients and communities. Improving air quality and reducing emissions in our cities will save millions of lives and improve health outcomes for billions of people. It will also help tackle climate change, reduce the burden on health services and create new economic opportunities.
The Global Climate and Health Alliance (GCHA) and its partners Health Care Without Harm, the Health and Environment Alliance, the US Climate and Health Alliance and the UK Health Alliance for Climate Change are connecting with local health partners and their communities to promote practical solutions and create tangible city level policy changes that drive a clear, downward global trend in urban air pollution by 2030. This will result in reductions in deaths, illnesses, and greenhouse gas emissions.
By coming together to advocate for an overhaul of transport and energy systems in our cities, we can help achieve a safe climate and improve public health, build stronger economies, and enhance quality of life in ways that benefit everyone.
Outdoor air pollution is responsible for 3 million premature deaths per year globally. Burning fossil fuels to power our cars, homes and businesses causes unhealthy air, and is contributing to the increase of global temperatures. From sustainable urban transport and active travel initiatives to renewable energy alternatives to fossil fuels, Unmask My City calls on decision makers to adopt policies and programmes to meet the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines.
Everyone has the right to safe clean air. By focusing on improving air quality in our cities we will substantially improve the health of our communities and our planet.
Would you like your city to join other cities from around the world?
Principal photography © Global Call for Climate Action / Greg McNevin and © Daniel Schoenen Fotografie