In order to keep a closer eye on air quality and to be able to improve it at critical locations, the parcel service provider DPD is now also measuring air quality in Hamburg. If the data reveal many places with high air pollution, an environmental zone in the Hanseatic city could also come back into the discussion.
The parcel service provider DPD would like to contribute to the monitoring and improvement of air quality in Hamburg with stationary and mobile measuring stations. The measuring stations will be installed at 19 branches of the Budnikowsky drugstore chain, a DPD partner. In addition, 100 DPD electric vehicles in the Hanseatic city have already been equipped with sensors and will in future be on the road as mobile measuring stations.
The project in Hamburg is part of the "Breathe" initiative and began in Lisbon, Paris and Madrid, where DPD is already contributing to air quality measurement across the board. In Lisbon, it has indeed contributed to the introduction of an environmental zone and vehicles with Euro standards 0 to 2 are now no longer allowed to enter. DPD plans to carry out air quality measurements in 20 European cities by the end of 2021. In this way the parcel service provider wants to help identify high levels of air pollution and thus contribute to improving air quality. The data will be available online and thus also contribute to the awareness of the population regarding the invisible danger.
Hamburg, one of the few large cities that still does not have an environmental zone, could also become a focus of attention in the fight against air pollution. It is not only the vehicles in the Hanseatic city that cause the bad air. Ships in the port of Hamburg also contribute to particulate matter and nitrogen oxide pollution. There are diesel driving bans in only two stretches of road in the Hanseatic city. Otherwise, vehicles of all ages can drive freely.
In the meantime, however, there are initiatives that want to make entire districts car-free. For example, the initiative "Course Bicycle City", which wants to lock cars out of the Hamburg district of Eimsbüttel so that it once again has room for bicycles, walkers and playing children.
Whether the DPD measurements will actually reveal deficiencies in air quality remains to be seen. What is certain is that if the measurements show too many pollutants in the air in many places, politicians would have to act. Then environmental zones or car-free areas, as demanded in Eimsbüttel, would be a way to quickly improve air quality. This will also bring many opponents onto the scene.
Either way, the "Breathe" initiative and DPD's contribution is a good step towards improved air quality. Awareness will be raised and more concrete information on air quality will be available. This will enable policy makers to take concrete measures in affected areas and better protect the population against air pollution.