On 27th April 2017 Maria posted in News
The video shows how the concern of local residents about air quality around their homes was developed into a citizen science project, thanks to Mapping for Change and the City of London. For twelve months, Mapping for Change worked with residents to measure local air quality levels in this centric estate and to produce measurable data. Continue reading…
Air pollution levels in UK cities are much worse than many of us realise. London, unsurprisingly, is no exception. Mapping for Change have been working with residents in the Barbican Estate, City of London, to measure air quality levels since October 2013. To celebrate our achievements, we have produced a short documentary about the project processes, and our shocking findings.
As part of the Science in the City project, residents of the Barbican Estate in the City of London monitored their local air quality between October 2013 and May 2014. Since February, residents have been using handheld sensors to track the presence of PM2.5 particulates* whilst on their everyday journeys and have managed to capture the effects of the dust storm in their community.
Twenty-five Barbican residents took part, carrying the sensors for up to five days each and making eighty-seven journeys in total. Although Science in the City focuses on air quality around the Barbican Estate, residents carried the sensors as far as Darlington and Cambridge providing a wealth of information illustrating changes in air quality across the country as well as in the Barbican area.
Whilst showing a resident how to use a particulate air quality monitor, he told me that he would “never walk in Beech Street Tunnel again”. This statement was based on his involvement in Science in the City, a citizen science project that we are currently running to support communities to measure and map air quality. Based on the data gathered by the local community, between October 2013 and February 2014, this particular resident decided that there are cleaner, ‘healthier‘ and less polluted routes he could take to and from his home. When we at Mapping for Change are asked what impact our work has, or how involving non-professional scientists in community based scientific research makes a difference – I guess here’s the answer! This chap might even live an extra few years – who knows!!