With more than 5 million people, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra have become the most densely populated in the country, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Meteorology.
In a report published on Wednesday, the bureau said that the number of people living in Australia’s major cities had grown by a whopping 10 per cent since 2011.
With the number living in cities rising, it has created an “urbanisation bubble”, which has “become the most pressing national environmental challenge of our time”.
The study said cities were “the biggest drivers of global warming and are likely to continue to be a major driver of regional climate change”.
The problem is that in Australia the number one problem is transport.
Transport is one of the biggest drivers for air pollution, particularly PM10, the particles emitted by cars.
“With a growing urban population and rising air pollution in many urban areas, air quality issues have become a key challenge,” the report said.
“The air quality of cities is one reason why climate change impacts are expected to be greatest in the future.”
A number of cities have introduced measures to tackle air pollution.
The capital Sydney is now installing an “air-quality plan” to reduce the amount of pollutants in the air and also improve traffic flow.
Melbourne has set up a regional air quality plan.
Melbourne’s new plan aims to reduce air pollution by 20 per cent by 2030.
“We need to do our bit and reduce air quality to meet the global target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Melbourne City Council executive director Steve Linton said.
Photo: James Brickwood Melbourne is also trying to make the city’s air cleaner by introducing measures such as reducing pollution in certain areas.
It has set a target of reducing the amount by 30 per cent.
In Adelaide, the city has created a plan to reduce PM2.5 levels by 30 to 50 per cent over the next five years.
Adelaide has also set up regional air pollution management plans, which aim to reduce particulate matter levels in particular neighbourhoods.
The plan will focus on reducing the number and concentration of emissions in particular areas.
The city’s chief air quality officer, Dr Paul Kelly, said the plan would help reduce air pollutants by reducing emissions from existing residential and business buildings.
Mr Kelly said Adelaide had an “extreme air quality problem”.
“It is a problem that’s very hard to address in a cost-effective way,” he said.
He said that, for example, “a building that has two bedrooms, four bathrooms and a private garage could be completely air-polluted with a single residential unit”.
Mr Kelly added that some cities were trying to “solve” air pollution problems by reducing pollution from commercial buildings. Photo