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
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.
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.
‘Ramp It Up’ was a social media campaign aiming to increase awareness about the barriers people with limited mobility face on a daily basis. We called on communities to help their towns and cities become more wheelchair friendly by encouraging shops, restaurants or any building open to the public to use portable wheelchair ramps if more permanent solutions cannot be made.