Understanding Public Perception of Air Quality in the Urban Environment of Central Asia: An Empirical Assessment Using Structural Equation Modelling

Agibayeva A., Tleuken A., Karaca F., AVCU E., Guney M.

Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 2024 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/09754253241240155
  • Journal Name: Environment and Urbanization ASIA
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, International Bibliography of Social Sciences
  • Keywords: Ambient air pollutants, community health, environmental health literacy, inhalation exposure, multivariate analysis, particulate matter
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: Yes


Public awareness and understanding of air quality in Central Asia remain considerably low. The present study assesses the perception, attitude and environmental knowledge of local air quality among adult urban residents (n = 870) in a city with high air pollution among cities of Central Asia: Astana, Kazakhstan. Structural equation modelling (SEM) was employed to investigate the causal relationship between perceived air quality, environmental literacy and willingness to pay for environmental protection. Over half of the Kazakhstani population has higher education, yet environmental literacy remains low compared to countries with fewer university graduates. Participants’ age, education and health status significantly affected (p <.001) their environmental knowledge and awareness. The SEM indicates knowledge as a major determinant in improving public awareness and perception of air pollution. The present study provides valuable insights for researchers and governmental institutions to promote a better understanding of air quality within a rapidly growing urban environment.