Air pollution is estimated to cause over 4,000 premature deaths in London every year. The severe reality of air pollution is generally much worse than most of us are aware. Citizen Science initiatives are one ways to take action in your local area.
Science in the City is a project that is being carried out with residents in the Barbican and Mansell Street, in the City of London. Residents are using low-tech tools to measure Nitrogen Dioxide and particulates.
Commissioned by the City of London, Mapping for Change are providing support and training to enable communities to measure and map air quality. We are also responsible for data analysis and visualisation.
By collecting this data locally, communities have been able to raise awareness and develop strategies and solutions for mediating the negative impact of air pollution.
Community groups made the decision to digitise the data on our Community Maps platform. You can see the findings here.
Dust Storm Mapping – April 2014
A dust cloud caused massive spikes in air pollution during April 2014. Use of hand-held particulate monitors captured the results.
Documentary: Barbican Air Quality Monitoring: A Beacon of Hope for Citizen Science
When this project was advertised around the estate, I thought, ‘that’s something I can get involved with that doesn’t take up a lot of my time’. It’s one of those things where, if you get lots of people doing a little bit, it adds up to something that’s big, and important.” Maggie Urry – Barbican Resident
See the documentary
Read the final report
WeGovNow is a three year research and innovation project focusing on civic participation in local government. It aims to change the relationship between citizens and local governments, transforming the citizen’s role from customer into partner. This is to be achieved with the development of a single community engagement platform, where citizens can interact with their governments and participate in local decision-making.
Breathe Clean will be providing Tower Hamlets residents with the materials & training needed to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around the places that matter to them. Participants will measure the air quality at a number of locations over a period of six months, to get a more granular picture of the situation in the borough. The data from the Breathe Clean project will be made available on Mapping for Change’s community maps webpage.
In 2012, the Big Lottery Fund in England invested £1 million in 150 neighbourhoods for its Big Local initiative. Northfleet, Kent, was one of the first 50 to be selected. The grant aimed to equip local communities with skills and tools to identify key areas and issues where action was reqiored in their area.