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04 June 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
Prof Cathryn Tonne
Air pollution not only costs lives, it costs money too. Pictured is Prof Cathryn Tonne presenting a guest lecture on air pollution at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Health effects associated with ambient air pollution (AAP) have been well documented. Subsequently, the relationship between pollution and financial outcomes have also become a focus for case studies globally. An Environmental Research journal article revealed that “low and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by the global burden of adverse health effects caused by AAP”. 

A high price to pay

In 2012, high concentrations of air pollution caused 7.4% of all deaths, costing South Africa up to 6% of its Gross Domestic Product. According to the recent International Growth Centre study conducted by senior University of Cape Town researchers, this is a direct consequence of the country’s heavy dependence of fossil fuels, a source of health-damaging air pollution and greenhouse pollutants.

Stunted human and economic growth

These South African statistics are attested to by Prof Cathryn Tonne who recently presented a guest lecture on air pollution which was hosted by the University of the Free State (UFS) Business School.

“Air pollution can affect economic development through several pathways, and health is an important one. Air pollution is linked to shorter life expectancy, chronic disease, asthma exacerbation and many other health outcomes that result in absenteeism from work and school. These have large direct costs to the health system.” 

Prof Tonne says that air pollution exposure in children is linked to reduced cognitive development, with important impacts on human capital. As a result, children are not reaching their full potential in terms of neurodevelopment, which has an effect on their income prospects and the economy as a whole. 

Resolving a looming disaster

Technology may be employed to radically clean the air. Cities need to lead in the reduction of air pollution by promoting renewable energy, using active transport such as walking or cycling, and investing in infrastructure to make this safe and attractive. 

With researchers playing a major role in strengthening the case for aggressive air pollution control, the government needs to implement policies in order to control sources of air pollution. This global health and economic issue also requires individuals and communities to play their part to improve air quality.

News Archive

Students’ commitment the focus of architectural exhibition at Free State Arts Festival
2016-07-07

Description: Architectural exhibition  Tags: Architectural exhibition

The traveling exhibition of first-year architecture
students of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
University consists of 400 exhibition pieces.

Photo: Supplied

A unique travelling exhibition of over 400 pieces will be hosted by the UFS Department of Architecture from 11-23 July 2016. The exhibition, a project of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) School of Architecture is the first exhibition of its kind on this scale.

First exhibition of its kind

The architect Boban Varghese, the head of the Department of Architecture at NMMU, said that a series of projects furthering academic engagements are being implemented under his leadership. This travelling exhibition of first-year architecture students is one of these.

The NMMU School of Architecture is engaged in addressing architectural education that is appropriate and relevant as it responds to the contextual challenges shaped by local and global issues.

Students’ work received recognition

Besides being recognition of student work, which is normally confined within the walls of the Schools of Architecture, the aim of the travelling exhibition is not only to introduce the work to students of other Architecture Schools and the architecture profession itself, but also to share the discipline of architecture with a wider public. In this sense, the exhibition is an educational and cultural event.

This important aspect is manifested in the generous support of the UFS Department of Architecture in sponsoring the second exhibition during the Free State Arts Festival, as a collaborative project between two Schools of Architecture. A third exhibition of the work is foreseen in Johannesburg during the annual Architecture Students Congress at Wits later this year.

432 pieces part of research programme

The exhibition PALLADIO AND THE MODERN
is the first exhibition of its kind of first-year
architecture students’ work in South Africa.

The exhibition entitled PALLADIO AND THE MODERN shows the first two projects of the first-year students when they have just arrived from school with little experience in architectural drawings and in building architectural models. Their dedicated commitment to the task of producing 288 drawings and 144 models - a total 432 exhibition pieces - forms part of a three-year research programme (2013-2015) in architectural composition conducted by the Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Ernst Struwig, Dr Magda Minguzzi and Jean-Pierre Basson. All the work exhibited is done by hand.

In the exhibition, the 36 villas of the Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), initiate a dialogue with the 36 houses of 20th and 21st international and national architects in their reciprocal theme of exploring the language of architecture.

Visiting hours: Monday to Friday 09:00-16:00
Exhibition closes on 23 July 2016

Sponsors:
Department of Architecture UFS; NMMU; Stauch Vorster Architects; The Matrix Urban Designers and Architects Cc; Adendorff Architects and Interiors Cc; NOH Architects; Thembela Architects (Pty) Ltd; Erik Voight Architects; DMV Architecture, MMK Architects; IMBONO F. J. A. Architects CC; dhk Architects; LYT Architecture; B4 Architects.

 

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