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Last Updated : Nov 28, 2019 02:26 PM IST

Moving out of the Metros

With the rapid pace of urbanisation in India, the trifecta of urbanisation, industrialisation and congestion are never far behind.

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With rising levels of air pollution seriously impacting the quality of life in several Indian cities, many are considering a move to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as an alternative. For most families, the move isn’t a difficult choice - with lower costs of living, shorter commutes, and comparable school and medical facilities; even with the paycut, the move to a Tier 2 city still results in more disposable income, more time at home, and a healthier lifestyle.

What’s important to consider though, is how likely it is that your new city will shortly begin to resemble the one you just left. With the rapid pace of urbanisation in India, the trifecta of urbanisation, industrialisation and congestion are never far behind. Pune, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Visakhapatnam and Nagpur are now considered metros, with several others in the offing. Wherever we go, bad air follows.

This is not a new problem, nor is it unique to India. Fortunately, this is now being addressed with some seriousness at the global stage. India’s commitments at the Paris Climate Agreement are remarkably ambitious, and several of the world’s biggest polluters have taken steps in the right direction.

But is it going to be enough? Will these measures translate into significantly improved air quality in cities choked with pollution? Clearly, more is needed. This is where auto manufacturers like Volvo Cars are stepping up to the plate. By 2025, half of all cars sold by Volvo, will be electric. To that end, from 2018 onwards, each year, Volvo will launch a pure electric model; and by 2025, every Volvo car will have a 50% lower carbon footprint than it did in 2018.

2018 saw the launch of Volvo’s first Breathe Free Campaign focused on raising awareness, and encouraging small, common sense actions that when done on scale, can help turn the tide on air pollution. This year’s campaign is focused on the population segment most affected by climate change and rising levels of toxic air - children and young adults.

The Volvo Voices of Future campaign stems from the success of Volvo’s school contact program in 2018. With children and young adults leading the conversation on climate change on the global stage, this is an opportunity for our children to put their voices and their ideas out there. And this isn’t just a contest - Volvo is putting together a framework that will allow these young inventors and ideators to take their ideas to fruition through internships with Volvo’s partners, as well as sponsorships.

You can find the details here. Besides the contest for the kids, there are tips for the rest of us to use to do our part to make life in our current cities healthier, and much more sustainable.

This is a partnered post
First Published on Nov 28, 2019 02:17 pm

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