Beijing is notorious for having poor air quality. During our first year of living here, I wrote a blog post about the assumptions I held about the air quality and compared them to the reality I found after moving here. We’ve been here for two and a half years now, and each year, the air quality has improved dramatically. You can see evidence of this by looking at this graphic made by a friend using an air visual app.
Winter is usually the the worst time of year because of all the coal that is burned for heating. When it started to get cold this year, I braced myself for those high AQI days that accompany the cold winter, but they never came. I was feeling pretty proud of China and the new policies they were implementing for cleaning up the air—the results of which were clear. But then I read that China made those changes knowing it would leave a part of their population without any heat during the winter. Justine Lopez writes about it in this article for ThatsBeijing.