This is my new WordPress site for the course Environment, Resources and Society.
Topic of this page is my hometown Graz and one of it’s main Problems Air Pollution
A Short Introduction to the topic
The city of Graz in Styria, Austria is a good example for a typical mid-sized central European town with all its problems. Being located on the southeast edge of the Alps on the river Mur, surrounded by mountains and hills, Graz has a special climate. Graz is the second biggest city in Austria with 276.526 inhabitants (for more statistics in german about Graz look at: Graz in Numbers 2015), which is not much on the global scale, but is large for Austria and the Alpine Regions.
Map 1: Map of Graz. Zoom out to see where Graz is in the world
Graz is surrounded by alpine hills on the north and on the west. On the east side there are tertiary hills. The main area of Graz are quaternary fluvial terraces, there were no glaciers in the Graz basin during the ice ages, which are expanded trough the south (For a geologic map in german see GIS Steirmark Geologie & Geotechnik).
The climate of Graz is continental with warm summers and cold winters. The annual precipitation is 885mm a year with the most rain in the summer and less rain/snowfall in the winter, with an average temperature of 8.3° Celsius (for further information: http://www.graz.climatemps.com/). Because of the mild and warm summer it’s possible to grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in Graz and the surrounding areas. Because of the Graz basin and the Alps there are few winds in Graz, and especially in the winter, stagnate air is reinforced through temperature inversion. The result is that air pollution is trapped in the basin causing public health problems.
The historic center of Graz is a UN World Heritage Site for its exemplary model of the living heritage of a central European urban complex (for more information: UN World Hertiage Site ) and most parts of the town are nice places to live. The problems of Graz are small compared to other parts of the world. Residents have enough clean water, the tap water in Graz is pure ground and spring water, the summers are warm and winters are not too cold, there is a low crime rate, affordable housing is available (but rising), with good education opportunities all make Graz a good place to live.
But air pollution, too much traffic, rising housing costs, rising unemployment rates are problems for the future and must be handled by policy makers. There are many ways to improve Graz through sustainable development strategies.