People in Almaty know their air is filthy, but when a group of activists got together to tell them exactly how bad it was, it did not go down well.
Smog hovering above Kazakhstan’s largest city is now an almost permanent feature that mars otherwise stunning views from the snow-capped mountains to the south. In just a quarter century, haphazard urban planning has led to erosion of the city’s green space, giving way to a proliferation of tall buildings that have disrupted natural ventilation patterns, thus trapping pollution churned out by the ever-growing number of outsized gas-guzzling vehicles that now clog roads.
Just so Almaty residents could understand how serious the problem had become, Asya Tulesova has now dreamt up Almaty Urban Air, or AUA for short, which is also the Kazakh word for “air.”
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