Digital screens to help monitor London’s air quality

Source: Imperial College London

A new pilot study integrates air quality sensors into digital advertising displays in London. The goal is to have a scalable network to better monitor London’s air quality, and thereby also inform the citizens of London about the cleanliness of the air they breathe.

Setting up a network
Breathe London is a network developed by the ERG, funded by the Mayor of London and Bloomberg Philanthropies, to provide real-time, hyperlocal air quality data to Londoners, via the Breathe London website. Together with media and infrastructure company Clear Channel, they have create a scalable, standardised solution to allow quick and easy rollout of air quality sensors across its national network of digital advertising displays.

Public health impact
Data from the sites in Barking and Dagenham is being transmitted to Breathe London, which also collects data from around 300 similar small sensors across London.

Andrew Grieve, Senior Air Quality Analyst, one of the scientists monitoring and analysing the data, says, “Air pollution is the biggest environmental risk to health in the UK and globally. The World Health Organisation recently updated their guidelines, setting much lower targets, showing we have further to go to protect public health.”

“Only by monitoring air quality can we see if we are heading in the right direction, so we are hugely excited by this unique partnership between business, academia and local government to expand the Breathe London network.”

Using street infrastructure
Neil Chapman, Clear Channel’s Product Development Director says, “Out of Home advertising most often exists in densely populated areas, where air quality data is needed most and can bring most benefit to the public.”

“This pilot demonstrates how easy and affordable it can be for local authorities and existing air quality networks to use our street furniture to measure the air pollution in problem areas, and inform the right interventions to improve local air quality.”

Photo by by alleksana

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