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.
Design for Wellbeing is a multidisciplinary research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project aims to investigate ‘community severance’; the concept that major transport infrastructure, such as busy roads, can negatively influence elderly people’s physical and psychological wellbeing, by segregating their community and restricting their mobility.
In 2009, Mapping for Change supported communities across London to measure and map local air quality. Use of a ‘citizen science’ approach meant local residents in seven locations were able to collect data, then see the real results of their monitoring activities, and subsequently embark on a campaign to see the serious results addressed.