Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Bloomberg Philanthropies have announced a £1.5m joint investment in air quality monitoring in London. The money will be used to deliver 195 air quality sensors across London which will produce real-time air quality data.
The results will be published live via a new Breathe London website, which will also collate data from another 100 plus sites.
The mayor is also looking to expand the number of sensors in the project and is offering a sponsorship programme in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies and Imperial College to provide an extra 60 sensors available to London communities over the next three years.
Organisations and individuals will be able to apply to host a sensor in a location of their choice from the summer with the first 10 sensors will be released in the autumn.
“I am delighted that Londoners will now have access to real-time, accurate air quality data for their area from more than 300 monitoring sites. This will improve awareness and help people reduce their exposure to polluted air,” said Sadiq Khan, mayor of London.
“The new website we are launching today will also help City Hall, TfL and the boroughs better target efforts on improving air quality at a local level.
“As we look towards a recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, it is vital that we create a city that is cleaner and greener. Never has tackling London’s toxic air been more important, which is why I am taking these bold and innovative steps to improve it,” Khan continued.
“But I can’t do this alone. Now, we need the government to step up and match my ambitions. If they give cities the powers and funding needed, we will be able to make air pollution a thing of the past.”
It will be fascinating to see what results Breathe London collates as the capital city returns to a degree of normality after the end of the lockdown.
A report published in October 2020 highlighted how air quality had significantly improved in 2020 as compared with the previous year.
“The Breathe London sensor network is rapidly taking shape after intensive work over the past two months by our team at Imperial. The necessary data transfer and quality control systems have been put in place and nodes at hospitals across the city are already providing near real-time air quality data via the new Breathe London website,” added Professor Frank Kelly, Battcock chair in community health and policy at Imperial College.
“The next stage of the project will see schools and local communities benefiting from this expanding network of sensors as we supply real-time air quality information to more and more Londoners.”