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London from the Shard
Image: HouseFresh

These images show how air pollution could ruin the world’s greatest views

From London’s Shard to Rio’s Christ the Redeemer, this project highlights how emissions could change iconic cityscapes across the globe

Ed Cunningham
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Ed Cunningham
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While in many parts of the world governments and people are trying to clean up their act and reduce pollution levels, that isn’t the case for everyone. Half of the world’s population is actually being exposed to increasing amounts of air pollution, with some researchers reckoning it could be responsible for as many as 4.2 million deaths every year. Which is, whichever way you look at it, pretty shocking.  

So, how do you visualise what it’s like to live in a heavily polluted area? Well, air purifier company HouseFresh has had a go, recreating views of some iconic cityscapes with the same pollution levels as those recorded in Ghaziabad, India.

Ghaziabad is often ranked amongst the most polluted cities in the world. The city has concentrations of PM2.5 – a kind of pollutant that causes heart and breathing problems – that are a whopping 18 times recommended WHO levels. It has an Air Quality Index rating of 169 (a ‘good’ rating, for context, is usually being between 0 and 50).

HouseFresh’s study might look like they’ve just added a load of murky brown haze to some legendary views – and, obviously, there’s pretty much zero chance that these places could ever actually look like that – but that doesn’t mean the images aren’t of value. They can still give a decent idea of the conditions some people have to live with, highlighting the fact that dangerous air pollution is still an issue for millions around the world.

Below are a few of the images (each with the name of the attraction from which you can see the view), and if you want to find out more, you can read HouseFresh’s findings for yourself here.

Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

Hong Kong view
Image: HouseFresh

Montparnasse Tower, Paris

Eiffel tower, Paris
Image: HouseFresh

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro
Image: HouseFresh

St Peter’s Basilica, Rome

St Peter's Basilica, Rome
Image: HouseFresh

Kerry Park, Seattle

Kerry Park, Seattle
Image: HouseFresh

Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, Sydney

Mrs. Macquarie's Point, Sydney
Image: HouseFresh

Tokyo Skytree, Tokyo

Tokyo Skytree view
Image: HouseFresh

Rockefeller Center, New York

Rockefeller Center, New York
Image: HouseFresh

The Shard, London

The Shard view
Image: HousefreshThe Shard view

 

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