Izmir, Turkey is highly industrialized and densely populated. The concentration of ~ 3 million inhabitants and their activities within a limited area produces grave environmental problems like air pollution. Industrial processes, traffic movement, and domestic heating with lignite are the main sources of air pollution in the city. An assessment of the air pollution situation in the city using a composite program of different measurement and computation methods showed that the SO2 concentrations in Izmir was relatively high compared to concentrations in Western European countries. Many European nations reduced their SO2 emissions by using desulfurization units in power plants, changing the fuels used in domestic heating from coal to low sulfur oil or gas, and reducing the sulfur content of petrol. All these measures have to be implemented in Turkey to effectively reduce SO2 emissions. The existence of mountain and slope wind systems had an essential purifying effect on polluted areas and should be preserved by city planning. The slopes should not be built up totally so that the slope winds can fully develop their purifying effect. Further evaluations have to be performed to obtain knowledge about the frequency of the occurrence of local wind systems and of the impact on air quality during summer.