CLEAN AIR MARATHON

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Mexico City- This megacity of more than 20 million population with a pleasant revelation: the region registered 248 days in 2012 in which the air quality considered good.

Mexico City once disparaged as “Mexsicko City,” the skies have been considered one of the most contaminated in the world.

Mexico City has introduced many strategies to improve the air.  From barter markets for recyclables to bicycle-sharing arrangements to zero emissions bus corridors, the city has emerged as an aspiring environmental model in recent years.

The state-run oil company Pemex started selling low-sulfur gasoline. Big industrial operations like a once-polluting Pemex refinery moved to more outlying areas or were closed. A program known as “Hoy No Circula,” loosely translated as “No Driving Today,” kept cars off the road one workday each week.

And Mexico City has use Metrobus, a system of clean-burning buses plying dedicated lanes that has encouraged people to leave their cars at home. Hoy No Circula was expanded to Saturdays, when older, out-of-state vehicles entered the city more frequently, and only vehicles manufactured since the 2005 model year may circulate daily without restrictions.

While, in China, Beijing, also a more than 20 million population city began its strategies to face the air problem. 

From 1998, Beijing has put 140 billion RMB into the environmental protection. 

“Blue Sky days” have increased from 100 days in 1998 to 256 days in 2008. Sand Storm frequency has decreased from 3.2 times a year in 1950s to 0.4 times a year.  The city closed almost 200 big industrial polluting operations.  Private cars limited to drive in weekdays.  For example, Monday, tail number has 3 or 8 stop to drive; Tuesday, tail number has 4 or 9 stop to drive. 

Clean Air project is like running a marathon, we are halfway there.

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