The Breathe London project has been announced as the winner of a SMART 50 Award by Smart Cities Connect, within the Digital Transformation category. Created to better understand Londoners’ exposure to air pollution, Breathe London combines state-of-the-art technology with new data analytics, delivering real-time air quality data at a hyperlocal level in the city.
The monitoring technology employed in the project’s network of over 100 AQMesh pods and in two Google Street View Cars was supplied by ACOEM Air Monitors. Their Managing Director Felicity Sharp congratulated all of the partners in the Breathe London project. “This has been a tremendous collaborative effort, and I am delighted that our work is being recognised globally.
“The benefits of hyperlocal air quality data are already being realised in London and we hope that this can be recreated all over the world. The measurement of air pollution at an unprecedented scale and scope helps to identify pollution hotspots and informs the design and assessment of mitigation measures. It also provides local information that helps citizens take their own pollution reduction initiatives and make informed decisions such as where to walk, cycle, play and live.”
Amanda Billingsley, Managing Director of Environmental Instruments, the company that manufactured the AQMesh pods, added: “We hope that this recognition of the Breathe London will inspire other cities to set up a hyperlocal air quality monitoring network and take the opportunity to learn from the approach used by the Breathe London team.”
“London’s pollution problem is a health crisis, and we are proud to be part of this ambitious project shining a light on air quality,” said Elizabeth Fonseca, senior air quality manager at Environmental Defense Fund Europe, one of the project’s leading partners. “Lessons learned from Breathe London can help other cities trying to gain a better understanding of their pollution and protect public health.”
Monitoring data from the AQMesh pods is compared against data from London’s existing regulatory grade monitoring network. Both open-source and available for download, the stationary and mobile data are presented on an innovative platform to improve the public’s understanding of the varying presence of pollution across both time and space. See www.breathelondon.org.
By assessing and documenting the benefits of policy interventions, such as London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, Breathe London is lowering the barriers for other cities to undertake sophisticated monitoring and modelling, and informing smarter, targeted policy.
A representative from Environmental Defense Fund Europe will be presented with the Breathe London award at the 2020 Smart 50 Awards Gala, which takes place during April in Denver, Colorado.