Vulnerable demographics can have a restricted access to participating in Science. With the rise of Citizen Science projects, more and more citizens get to understand the ‘behind the scenes’ of data collection and monitoring of varied issues. When it comes to air pollution, however, there can be a gap information relating to the adverse health impact that poor air can have on people, and particularly vulnerable demographics.
With the InSPIRES (Ingenious Science shops to promote Participatory Innovation, Research and Equity in Science) project, Mapping for Change partners with DRAXIS to engage a community of vulnerable people to raise awareness and increase knowledge about air pollution, air quality and air quality monitoring. Originally, the InSPIRES project aimed to engage elderly people to give them the opportunity to monitor their home’s air quality. For safety reasons following the outbreak of COVID-19, the project re-centered around engaging other demographics who would benefit from learning more about air pollution and its health effects.
As part of InSPIRES, participants will have access to accessible and interactive air quality sensors which display real-time measurements. These measurements will be displayed online on the interactive platform HackAIR, and made available to all participants.
Mapping for Change will be tying in the InSPIRES project with Planting Healthy Air, and will be working with pupils and their parents to raise awareness on air quality both at school and at home. Pupils and parents will have the opportunity to monitor particulate matter (PM) concentration over a period of 3 months. In partnership with Trees for Cities, Mapping for Change will work along children and parents to answer a set of research questions, get an idea of the air pollution levels at school and at home, and visualize air quality measurements over time, during a series of online workshops.
DRAXIS is a company which specializes in the production of ICTs solutions for environmental issues. Trees for Cities is a UK charity which works to improve lives by planting trees in cities. Dr Kirsti Ashworth, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University is an expert in how the use of our land impacts on air quality. The four schools we are working with are: St Paul’s CE Primary , Christ Church Bentinck C of E Primary, Tudor and Woolmore Primary
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.
Mapping for Change is working with pupils and teachers to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around each school using citizen science. Together, we have installed diffusion tubes at 10 locations around the school which will be changed over by the EcoClub every month for 12 months.
Hackney Wick is a community situated on the boundary of the 2012 Olympic Park within the London Borough of Hackney. Hackney Wick is just one of the many communities facing considerable change as a result of major development and regeneration plans. Developments to the Olympic site resulted in the loss of facilities used by local residents, such as the local playing field and allotments. There was continued mixed sentiment about the development and the legacy which they were to inherit.