WM-Air - the West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme

WM-Air – the West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme - is a new initiative to support the improvement of air quality, and associated health, environmental and economic benefits, in the West Midlands.

Also in 'School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences'

Air pollution in the West Midlands affects some 2.8 million people, reducing average life expectancy by up to 6 months, and is responsible for direct and indirect economic costs of several hundred million pounds per year. Air quality is therefore a key priority for local and regional government, and for the health and wellbeing of the region’s population.

“Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to Public Health in the UK.”

DEFRA, 2017

Led by William Bloss of the University of Birmingham, WM-Air will provide improved understanding of pollution sources and levels in the region, and new capability to predict air quality, health and economic impacts of potential policy measures. It will support the application of these to specific case studies across the West Midlands, ranging from major infrastructure projects such as HS2, to making effective use of Green Infrastructure (urban vegetation) across the city.

Project partners include the West Midlands Combined Authority, Transport for West Midlands, local authorities across the region including Birmingham and Coventry City Councils, HS2, and the Birmingham & Solihull NHS Sustainability & Transformation Partnership, plus a number of private sector organisations and local businesses. 

WM-Air is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council’s Regional Impact from Science of the Environment (RISE) initiative, which funds regionally focused projects up to £4 million each over five years, with each Institution providing a further £1 million each towards their projects.  RISE aims to bring research organisations together with businesses, policy bodies and other actors contributing to economic development specific to their location, to deliver significant regional impact from NERC environmental science. 

WM-Air: Project Partners

  • West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA)
  • Transport for West Midlands (TfWM)
  • Birmingham City Council (BCC)
  • Coventry City Council (CCC)
  • Low Emissions Towns & Cities Partnership (LETCP)
  • Birmingham & Solihull NHS STP (STP)
  • Midlands Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG)
  • B’ham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • Amey Plc
  • Calthorpe Estates
  • Network Rail
  • Arup
  • High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
  • Temple Group
  • AEA Ricardo
  • Walsall Council
  • Sustrans West Midlands
  • National Express
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Forest Research
  • NHS Sustainable Development Unit