Influencing European directives

The revision of the EU’s Ambient Air Quality Directives (AAQD) is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to promote public health. Throughout 2023, our initiative continuously advocated for the inclusion of health evidence in these discussions. We produced two policy briefs (1,2) and three fact sheets underscoring the health risks and economic toll of air pollution. These resources were widely disseminated through advocacy and policy platforms, as well as social and traditional media. Additionally, we wrote letters addressed to politicians together with partner organisations and advocacy groups, and co-authored several editorials in scientific journals that helped influence the negotiations (3-6). The resulting agreement, which is now in the final legislative stages and scheduled to conclude by the end of 2024, aims to cut the permitted levels of key pollutants such as PM2.5 and NO2 by half. In this way, the initiative consolidated ISGlobal’s efforts to secure this significant step forward in reducing air pollution and improving public health in Europe.

Monitoring and evaluating local impact

Throughout 2023, we worked with local authorities to help them monitor and evaluate the health impact of specific urban policies and actions. Specifically, we worked with:

  • Barcelona City Council to evaluate the “Protegim les escoles” programme, which aimed to pacify and improve spaces around schools. ISGlobal partnered with ICTA to evaluate air pollution and the use and perception of these new spaces.
  • Diputació de Barcelona to evaluate neighbourhood improvement projects in Granollers, Viladecans and Mataró, using a co-creation approach. We created a database of tools to assess health outcomes and conducted pilot evaluations.
  • Vitoria City Council to evaluate the impact of neighbourhood renovation and greening by measuring changes in noise, temperature and air quality.


  1. Garcia Vaz C et al. Towards Clean Air in the EU
  2. Garcia Vaz C et al. The Economic Fallacy of Improving Air Quality in Europe.
  3. Malmqvist E et al. Int J Public Health
  4. Turner MC Et al. Eur Resp J.
  5. Boogard H et al. Environ Epidemiol.
  6. Hoffmann B et al. Int J Public Health.