Asia’s urban population is rapidly growing. Expanding industrial development and increasing motorisation have adverse impacts on the environment by deteriorating air quality, increasing greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to climate change.
Poor air quality also affects plants and animals as well as the quality of soil and the erosion of buildings and other structures. Furthermore, in 2011, urban air pollution is estimated to have caused 1.3 million premature deaths globally, more than 60% of which occurred in Asia.
In the fight against air pollution and climate change, ASEAN cities face particular challenges. If air pollution and climate change mitigation is addressed, it is usually in large metropolitan areas. Despite their vital role in the country’s development, smaller cities are rarely considered and usually do not have access to sufficient and reliable data on the quality of their air.
 Global Burden of Disease Report, 2008, WHO in CAI-Asia, 2012