The #Cityzens4CleanAir Campaign

Why the Cityzens for Clean Campaign? 

Africa’s population is young (median age 19.4 years) and rapidly urbanising. High rates of urban poverty and largely unplanned urban environments compromise well-being and are contributing to a rising burden of both infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Despite an urgent need for healthy urban environments to reverse this trajectory, the continent’s mostly unplanned urban development, coupled with unresponsive governance in growing cities, offer few opportunities for health creation and disease prevention, with most urban residents also experiencing environmental vulnerability.

These cities are dually characterised by rapidly growing informal settlements and increasing investment in new greenfield urban development initiatives, with a largely untapped opportunity to harness this rapid pace of change and the young population for sustainable urban health initiatives.

To read more about the UrbanBetter Cityzens4CleanAir Campaign and how to get involved visit our Cityzens4CleanAir website.

Our Vision

By 2030, all urban infrastructure projects in Africa will embed health and climate resilience principles in their design and implementation.

Meet the Cityzens for Clean Air

The Run Leaders selected in each city are:




We asked the Run Leaders to tell us about themselves, what clean air means to them and why they are advocating for clean air and healthy public space in their city. Watch what they had to say:

Key Findings

To interact with the data using our interactive data platform, follow these steps:





Click HERE

Choose a location:

Cape Town, South Africa 

Accra, Ghana

Lagos, Nigeria

Select whether you would like to view the Air Quality (by type of pollutant) and/or the Media collected along run routes

Start interacting!

Click on the data visualisations below to read the key findings from each city.

And for a close up of each run, click on Cape Town, Accra or Lagos



Cape Town

Calls To Action

Run Leaders reviewed the data stories they generated and used these findings to develop evidence-informed advocacy goals and calls to action for decision makers in Cape Town, Accra and Lagos.


– the overall call to action on how policymakers can take action for clean air in cities.

– the 2-page city-specific briefs for Cape Town, Accra and Lagos


Advocacy Toolkit

We are happy to share the slogans, banner designs and social media messaging in a handy advocacy toolkit. Find out how you can join this campaign for clean air from wherever you are.

Where to Find Us at COP27

A selection of the young citizen scientists from Lagos, Accra, and Cape Town will represent the initiative at COP27 in Egypt.

Below are the Cityzens4CleanAir events at COP27:

(NB a comprehensive list of all UrbanBetter activities at COP27 can be found here).

9 November: Youth Pavillion at 13:35pm (Egypt time)

Citizen scientists will discuss air pollution leadership and intergenerational action.

10 November: Multilevel Action Pavillion at 10:00am (Egypt time)

In a discussion on youth and research in African city resilience, we will address this campaign.

10-12 November: Exhibit (Booth 11)

An interactive exhibit in the blue zone will feature citizen scientists, their advocacy messages, data story results, and campaign policy proposals. The exhibit will allow COP27 delegates to hear from the Run Leaders and interact further with these findings and with the project team who will be at COP.

10 November: On social media

November 10 is COP 27’s youth and science day. So we will undertake a global social media campaign to promote this effort in addition to October and November clean air runs. This day will emphasise the need to measure and treat air pollution for health and climate action. To achieve this aim, we have built an advocacy toolkit to help you join this mobilisation from anywhere in the world and improve the urban environment one breath at a time.

An UrbanBetter Cityzens Initiative

in collaboration with:


Funded by: