Friends of Limehouse is an East London non-profit organisation focused on improving the local environment starting with air quality. We see clean air as a basic human right that is violated in Tower Hamlets.
Air pollution in Limehouse is one of the worst in London and is higher by 30% than in the rest of Tower Hamlets. It is over twice the legal limit due to the fumes from the Rotherhithe and Limehouse Link Tunnels and the lack of green space.
Air pollution affects the health and well-being of all residents, particularly children and older generations, with a larger than national average number of asthma and other allergic and cardiovascular diseases.
Air pollution mainly comes from using cars. Despite its legal obligation to improve air quality in the area, the Council of Tower Hamlets welcomes more traffic to pass through the borough. We must change this and persuade the Council to take a strategic approach to tackling environmental issues.
Improving air quality is a complex process requiring a strategic, evidence-based approach. We organised Neighbourhood Forum that showed the need for Green Infrastructure. We invited UCL to find evidence for these results. UCL’s research states that Limehouse is the most polluted area of Tower Hamlets, with three times the population density of London and not enough green space.
With these results, we came to ARUP, the world’s leading architectural bureau specialising in air pollution. ARUP proposed creating a Green Infrastructure Master Plan for Limehouse. The Master Plan would provide a vision for sustainable development of the area reducing air pollution, uniting and empowering local communities and mitigating climate change. It will cost £50,000, plus its implementation and regular maintenance. Local developers contribute to the Council’s budget to counterbalance the impact on the area. However, this money is not spent in Limehouse.
We want to unite residents and local businesses to ensure that the Council and other authorities provide clean air in Limehouse and Tower Hamlets in general.
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