Session Topic: Managing Air Quality in Mountainous Cities



Compared to cities on flat open plains, cities surrounded by or next to high mountains face additional challenges in managing air quality. The mountains influence ventilation by blocking or channeling air flow. They create night-time drainage flows that pool cold air in low areas, enhancing temperature inversions. The diurnal patterns of air pollution in such cities are affected not only by the diurnal patterns of emissions, but also by the local meteorology that is strongly influenced by the mountains. Many of the world’s most polluted cities are surrounded by or near mountains. 

There are also many mountainous cities that have made significant progress in cleaning up their air. The session will discuss challenges and available tools for mountainous cities trying to manage their air pollution problems, while sharing experiences and success stories.       


This session aims

  • to raise awareness about topographic challenges faced by mountainous cities in the management of their air quality;
  • to discuss challenges and available tools as well as share experiences and success stories.

Target participants

Policymakers, practitioners and media from countries that have air quality problems in mountainous cities.

Session chair
Arnico K. Panday, ICIMOD

Breakout Session

Tue 30 Aug

1:30 – 3:00pm

Managing Air Quality in Mountainous Cities
Organized by: International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)

Chair: Arnico Panday, ICIMOD

Venue: Room 107, 1F Convention Hall, BEXCO

Session Introduction

Air quality in Mountainous Cities: Challenges and Opportunities

Arnico Panday, ICIMOD

Lessons from Latin America: Mexico City and Santiago de Chile

Luisa Molina, Molina Center for Energy and the Environment

Numerical Modeling as an Air Quality Management Tool

Bhupesh Adhikary, ICIMOD

Panel Presentations by Government Representatives

  • Ganesh Shrestha, Department of Environment, Nepal
  • Batbayar Jadamba, National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental Monitoring, Mongolia
  • Li Xiang, Beijing Environmental Protection Agency, China
  • Jatinder Singh Kamyotra, Central Pollution Control Board, India