Viennese Air Quality 2023: Compliance with all Pollutant Limits

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: January 4, 2024; 23:06 ♦ (Vindobona)

Air quality in Vienna in 2023 shows a significant improvement and continues the trend of recent years. Despite increased particulate matter levels due to New Year's Eve fireworks, the legal limits for pollutants were met at all measuring points.

Air quality in Vienna in 2023 continued at the high level of previous years, with compliance with all legal pollutant limits. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Dimitry Anikin, CC0

This positive development is the result of targeted measures such as the expansion of public transport, the promotion of e-mobility, and urban planning measures to reduce air pollution.

Climate City Councillor Jürgen Czernohorszky emphasizes that the air that Viennese children breathe today is significantly better than in the past. A lot has been achieved in terms of air pollution control over the last 15 years thanks to measures at the EU, federal, and local levels. In addition, Vienna's goal of being CO2-neutral by 2040 will further improve air quality.

The measured values for particulate matter PM10 were between 12 and 16 µg/m³ at the 13 measuring points, well below the limit value of 40 µg/m³. The PM2.5 particulate matter class also showed values of 8 to 11 µg/m³, well below the limit value of 25 µg/m³. Nitrogen dioxide levels also remained below the limit values, which underlines the effectiveness of the measures against air pollution. This development in Vienna is a positive example of successful environmental policy and sustainable urban development.

The EU limit values for all air pollutants were met at all measuring stations for the first time in 2019. Just one year ago, this still seemed completely unattainable. The first year of coronavirus (2020) intensified the downward trend, partly due to lockdowns, which in some cases led to a significant drop in traffic figures. As a result, all limit values in Austria were met for the first time in 2020, some of which are stricter than in the EU. This excellent level will be maintained in the coming years.

Several measures are being taken in Vienna to reduce exposure to air pollutants. These measures include the improvement of public transport, the introduction of the 365-euro ticket, the management of parking spaces, the ongoing expansion of the cycle path network, the use of low-emission vehicles, support for e-mobility, and pedestrian-friendly urban development. Air quality will also be improved by renovating residential buildings with thermal energy, environmentally friendly construction sites, expanding the use of district heating, and effective winter road maintenance.

City of Vienna