Nottingham will mark the first ever National Clean Air Day on Thursday 15 June with a range of events to encourage local people to do their bit to improve air quality and their own health.

It comes on the day that former US vice president turned eco activist Al Gore presents Nottingham City with the esteemed Ashden Award for Clean Air in Towns and Cities for developing greener transport that has helped Nottingham to achieve the lowest emissions per head of population of all large UK cities outside London.

Across the UK’s city centres, air pollution is having a major impact on health, with dirty air contributing to 40,000 deaths every year in the UK.

Co-ordinated by the UK’s leading behaviour change environmental charity, Global Action Plan, National Clean Air Day will show what everyone can do to make a positive practical difference on air quality, protecting themselves and others.

Nottingham already does a lot to tackle air quality such as the Workplace Parking Levy, its ever-growing electric buses and tram networks, smart ticketing solutions, cycle improvements and plans to increase the number of low-emission vehicles, including taxis, in the city.

On National Clean Air Day, a local Nottingham city resident will become the first person in the city to have a free home smart charger installed for his electric car through another pioneering project called Electric Nation*, which supports Nottingham’s Go Ultra Low project in increasing the uptake of electric vehicles to improve air quality in the City.

As well as tackling traffic pollution Nottingham has taken an innovative approach to tackling air quality by focusing on reducing the pollution that buildings create, by finding new and more energy efficient ways to heat and power our buildings we have made significant progress towards improving air quality. A new trial is about to take place in the city where Nottingham City Council will be piloting cutting edge fuel cell technology in three of its high energy consuming buildings; gas boilers will be replaced with fuel cell systems.

Cllr Jon Collins, Portfolio Holder for Strategic Infrastructure, said: “The health of people in Nottingham is a top priority for us which is why we are keen to show support of the National Clean Air Day to highlight what is being done to improve air quality in the city. We are really proud that Nottingham has been recognised as an exemplary core city which has pioneering green and clean initiatives that are rapidly developing to improve the air in Nottingham.

“Nottingham has an excellent reputation for providing sustainable travel solutions which in turn will help reduce congestion and air pollution in the city. Travelling on our clean buses and trams, together with cycling and walking helps improve air quality, has health benefits and can also improve access to jobs, education and training. We recognise that there will always be a place for car use, but through our Go Ultra Low Nottingham programme we are helping the city switch to greater numbers of low emission vehicles.”

The request for the day is for people to consider leaving the car at home and find healthier, low emission ways of travelling.

Local schools, hospitals and communities will be taking part in Clean Air Day events around the country. In Nottingham this includes the intu Victoria Centre which is running an event with Nottingham Forest Youth Academy, as well as Queens Medical Centre, NHS Foundation Trusts, Nottingham City Buses, Dunkirk Primary school and the City Council. Further details are here:

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