Project Approach

The project supports smaller and medium-sized cities in the ASEAN region to develop and implement ‘Clean Air Plans’, in order to improve air quality and move forward in sustainable urban development. Usually, each city takes the following steps in the elaboration of its Clean Air Plan

CAP Devpt Process

To enhance ownership, the Clean Air Plans are prepared by the city authorities together with local consultants and universities. The project supports this process by engaging additional local and international consultants based on the needs in a particular phase. For more information on the Clean Air Plan development steps, please scroll down.

Parallel to supporting the development of Clean Air Plans, the project also provides policy advice to the National Governments. For example, it elaborates Country Reports that provide an overview of the existing air pollution sources and air quality. They also summarize the country’s existing data on the impacts of air pollution. Based on this information, the project conducts a gap analysis and elaborates recommendations for the further development of the existing air quality legislation (e.g. on the adjustment of national air quality standards or the further development of inspection and maintenance programmes for vehicles). National as well as ASEAN-wide workshops are held to discuss air pollution issues with key stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Environment.

The project also elaborated a standardized modular training system on air quality management. ‘Train for Clean Air’ covers five courses: Air Quality Management; Air Quality Monitoring for Smaller Cities; Emission Inventory Elaboration for Smaller Cities; How to Raise Awareness for Clean Air; and Communication of Air Pollution Issues. The courses are customised for different stakeholder groups, such as decision-makers, technical staff, non-governmental organisations and the media. For more information, please click here.


Road Map

As a first step towards a Clean Air Plan, a Road Map is developed for each participating city. The Road Map describes the key issues and challenges for improving the city’s air quality, including the following:

  • an overview of the air quality and administrative arrangements,
  • the status of air quality monitoring,
  • what is known about the city’s area, stationary and mobile emission sources,
  • potential key areas for improving or maintaining air quality, and
  • an assessment of the potential for public participation in the course of the Clean Air Plan development.

Based on this information, the Road Map outlines the required steps for the city in order to establish a Clean Air Plan. They typically include the elaboration of an Emission Inventory, the refinement of air quality monitoring data and the monitoring system, a review of the existing transport system as well as a need assessment for the updating of existing national legislation on air quality. The Road Map also identifies further data needs as well as the resources needed to establish a technically sound and practical Clean Air Plan.

An important first step towards a Clean Air Plan is to establish administrative arrangements in the participating city. Typically, a Technical Team is set up to guide the Clean Air Plan development process.


Vision and Goal Workshop

A Vision and Goal Workshop aims to develop a commonly agreed vision for clean air in the city. The formulation of this vision together with important stakeholders – such as civil society, universities, and the public and private sector – ensures the acceptance of the implementing measures aimed at improving air quality. A jointly elaborated vision and goals also confirms the commitment of governmental officials and the community to pursue clean air and a more liveable city.

During the workshop, the current state of air quality is presented to the participants followed by a discussion on opportunities and challenges for the city. Then, several vision proposals are developed in small groups comprised of mixed stakeholders. After a presentation to all participants, the city’s clean air vision is selected by the workshop participants. In the second step, the same stakeholders develop the specific goals that will guide the actions taken towards achieving the vision.

Organising Vision and Goal Workshops with a strong participatory approach has proven to maximize the city’s ownership for Clean Air Plan development. Vision and Goal Workshops have been conducted in Chiang Mai and Nakon Ratchasima (Thailand), in Palembang and Surakarta (Indonesia) as well as in Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro (the Philippines). For examples of the workshops, please click here.


Emission Inventory

Emission Inventories complement air quality monitoring data by quantifying the emission of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, non-methane volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, particulate matter (PM10) and carbon dioxide. The inventory also includes information on the pollutant’s spatial distribution.

In each participating city, a local team of experts from the local university and city administration staff works under the project’s guidance to:

  • identify the city’s pollution sources according to stationary sources (e.g. power plants), area sources (e.g. residential areas) and mobile sources (on-road and off-road transport),
  • collect activity data, i.e. quantitative information on the polluting activity (such as fuel consumption), through secondary sources and direct surveys and interviews,
  • convert the activity data into annual mass emissions, and
  • collate and spatially locate all emissions.

In many medium-sized cities in the ASEAN-Region the transport sector is the main source of air pollutants and CO2. Quantifying emissions from road traffic is thus a key focus. Traffic surveys (such as manual or automatic counts) are undertaken to collect information on traffic flow, composition, speed and driving patterns at key locations. The results are extrapolated to the rest of the transport network. Together with vehicle fleet characteristics, the traffic data are used as inputs into the German Environment Agency’s emission model MobileV. This model calculates the annual emissions per road, which are spatially allocated and added to the other emission inventory data.

The Emission Inventory provides the scientific background of the Clean Air Plan and allows for the development of targeted air pollution control measures. In the course of emission inventory elaboration, the project provides trainings on emission inventory elaboration and technical support. The project also set up an emission inventory network among the participating universities. To date, nine emission inventories from participating cities are available. For an example of an Emission Inventory, please click here.


Air Quality Monitoring

Direct measurement of concentrations of pollutants in the air is an essential part of evaluating air quality. The Air Quality Monitoring Review:

  • discusses the technical and administrative resources and responsibilities regarding air quality monitoring,
  • analyses monitoring results and compares them with national and international air quality standards,
  • elaborates on necessary technical and administrative steps to improve the existing monitoring system. If necessary, an air quality monitoring strategy is set up for the city.

In addition, the project provides five portable fine dust monitors, as a loan to partner cities to enable them to carry out short-term PM10 and PM2.5 measurements at hot-spots jointly selected by the project and city. The project also provides training:

  • to the team using the dust monitors on equipment handling and data analysis.
  • to technical officers and university lecturers on the fundamentals of air quality monitoring. One part of the ‘Train for Clean Air’ system, the course ‘Air Quality Monitoring for Smaller Cities’, covers topics such as quality control, monitoring techniques and network design.

The existing and project-generated monitoring results will be analysed in light of the outcome of the Emission Inventory, and included in the cities’ Clean Air Plans. These data will not only provide further evidence of current pollution levels, but also serve as a baseline for comparison with future measurements and assessing progress.


Transport Review

Transport Reviews provide an overview of the current transportation system in the respective city. Based on existing data, they also include measures needed to improve the transport system while reducing air pollution at the same time. Typically, a Transport Review includes site visits, traffic surveys and an analysis of existing urban development and transport development plans. In addition to the review of available traffic survey data, other survey needs are also identified. Together with the Emission Inventory and the air quality monitoring data, the Transport Reviews are a key element for formulating measures to reduce air pollution as part of the Clean Air Plan.

Transport Reviews have been conducted in Chiang Mai and Nakon Ratchasima (Thailand), Vientiane (Lao PDR) and Phnom Penh (Cambodia). In Surakarta and Palembang (Indonesia) as well as in Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro (the Philippines), the results of the activities of the ‘Cities Development Initiative for Asia’ (CDIA) are used to complement the Clean Air Plans. In Cambodia, the project helped to finalize the ‘National Environmental Sustainable Transport’ report, which was initiated by the United Nations Commission for Regional Development (UNCRD). For more information please visit CDIA and UNCRD.

Focal Discussion Groups

When a draft version of the Clean Air Plan is completed, the opinions and comments of key stakeholders – the private sector, civil society, and the public at large – are included through consultation mechanism, e.g. Focal Discussion Groups and the Vision and Goal Workshops. At the workshop, the participants discuss the measures that may be included in a Clean Air Plan according to technical feasibility, possible social implications and institutional capacity. Based on this a prioritisation of the measures is developed. The focal Discussion Group is supported by technical experts that provide background information on the measures. This participatory approach maximizes stakeholder ownership and increases overall implementation of the Clean Air Plans. GIZ supports the preparation of the Clean Air Plans by providing national and international experts, and policy advice.

Clean Air Plan

Based on the Vision & Goal Workshop, the Emission Inventory, the Air Quality Monitoring data, the Transport Review results, a Clean Air Plan is developed by the city and local consultants. The Clean Air Plan outlines the key measures necessary for improving the city’s air quality. As the transport sector is the main source of air pollutants and CO2 in most participating cities engaged in the project, a focus is set on air pollution reduction from this sector. Measures can include the improvement of the city’s conditions for walking and cycling, the improvement of the public transport system, and the management of private motorised transport. Integrated urban planning as well as an update of the emission Inventory may be part of a Clean Air Plan. The project supports the Clean Air Plan elaboration through engaging local and international consultants.

The implementation of Clean Air Plans also generates important co-benefits, such as climate change mitigation, better health for local citizens, more tourism and increased overall quality of life.