Air quality is one of the most important problems currently faced by all countries, as it has a fundamental impact on quality of life and public health. In heavily polluted areas, air quality management is still organized on a local basis – yet air pollution is a typical example of a cross-border phenomenon, which cannot be effectively managed solely on the national or regional level. The main aim of the AIR TRITIA project is to establish a system of international cooperation within the EGTC (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation) TRITIA; this is a cross-border framework which provides a platform for collaborative initiatives. The project will develop joint solutions to the problems of air and noise pollution, helping to enhance quality of life in participating regions and producing a positive impact on public health in general.
The aim of AIR TRITIA is to assist public authorities in managing air quality by creating a single integrated database, introducing new tools for managing and forecasting pollution, devising an air quality strategy that targets functional urban areas (FUAs), and creating the joint EGTC TRITIA regional strategy. Improvements in local and regional air quality management will help boost public health and enhance quality of life.
At present, public authorities do not possess a sufficiently clear and simple tool for addressing this issue. Emissions limits differ from country to country, and this may lead to legal disputes on both national and local levels. The AIR TRITIA project aims to create solutions which will enhance local and regional air quality management processes, leading to a clearer presentation of more accurate information backed up by expert opinions and data, as well as devising practical proposals for solutions interlinked both horizontally and vertically. The project will help boost the capacity and options available to public authorities for decision-making related to air quality, thus helping them to achieve improvements in polluted areas – with a particular focus on regions that are affected by cross-border pollution sources.
Main project outputs:
- A single integrated database providing essential information on an international level
- Tools for effective air quality management (an air quality management system and a forecast-based pollution warning system)
- A proposal for strategies to improve air quality and reduce emissions from various sources on the level of functional urban areas (FUAs) and regions within the AIR TRITIA territory
The EGTC (European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation) TRITIA consists of four regions: the Moravian-Silesian Region (Czech Republic), the Silesian Voivodeship and the Opole Voivodeship (Poland), and the Žilina Region (Slovakia). All four regions are non-financing partners in AIR TRITIA. The project reflects the strategic goals of the EGTC, which seek to improve quality of life for the region’s people by addressing the current absence of a coordinated air quality management system transcending the national borders of the participating countries.
Participating institutions in each partner country:
On 17 October 2017, representatives of the project partners (cities, regions and research institutions from all three countries) met at the Central Institute of Mining (GIG) in Katowice for the opening TRITIA conference.
Funding and project duration
The coordinating partner is the VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava. The project features 15 partners, who are joining forces to create the project outputs (the universities and research institutions) and to implement them (the cities, regions and EGTC TRITIA). The project is funded via the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE programme, which supports cooperative solutions to similar problems throughout Central Europe.
The project has been operational since June 2017, and it has received funding of 246 million EUR from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF supports cross-border cooperation among institutions in the cities and regions of the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia.