Urban air pollution directly affects populations living in and around urban areas. Worldwide, 1.3 million people die every year from outdoor air pollution in urban areas. The benefits of managing this issue are endless: healthier citizens, a sustainable climate, productive businesses, and a thriving economy. Communicating the importance of good air quality serves as the first step towards a healthier, happier city. Here are 5 easy steps for improving the air quality of your city.

1. Start an internal conversation about air quality

Air pollution is an issue that affects the entire city, and thus serves as a concern for the various municipal departments in charge of the well-being of citizens. Air quality should matter to nearly all departments of a municipal administration. These include:

Starting a conversation on how air pollution is applicable to these departments is the first step towards a healthier, happier city. 

2. Deploy sensors to start measuring air quality

By identifying their main sources of outdoor air pollution, cities can implement policies known to improve air quality. This is only possible by building an urban sensor network. The most important air quality parameters are:

  • Local climate, including temperature (T) and humidity (RH)
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Nitric oxide (NO)
  • Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5)
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Breeze Technologies’ air quality sensors are capable of measuring these indicators in real-time, along with other custom parameters upon customer request. Find out more about them here.

3. Share air quality data with the other departments of your municipal government

Air quality is a priority for joint action. Our air quality sensors are built to work seamlessly with our proprietary Environmental Intelligence Platform, which is capable of streaming real-time and historic sensor data into smart city and building management platforms. Using dashboards, visualizations, and threshold analyses, you and related governmental departments will be able to make effective, informed decisions on the most pressing matters:

  • For City Planning:
    • Air quality data helps decide where to add spaces for safe walking and cycling
    • Air quality data helps decide where to add green spaces to counteract air pollution
    • Air quality data helps decide where to invest in buses, rapid transit, light rail, subways
  • For Climate and Environment:
  • For Housing:
    • Air quality data informs the design and/or location of new housing districts
    • Air quality data informs the replacing of traditional household heating and cooking fuels with lower-emission alternatives
    • Air quality data informs the importance of the energy efficiency of homes and buildings
  • For Energy:
    • Air quality data provides reason to transition away from using fossil fuels and diesel 
    • Air quality data provides reason to utilize low-emissions fuels and renewables
    • Air quality data provides reason to rely on the cogeneration of heat and power and distributed energy generation like mini-grids and solar panels
  • For Industry:
    • Air quality data supports the improving of kilns and ovens to reduce air pollution
    • Air quality data supports the adoption of clean technologies that will reduce industrial emissions
    • Air quality data supports the increased recovery and use of gases released during production
  • For Public Health:
    • Air quality data helps assess which city sectors have the most health impact on citizens
    • Air quality data helps assess the effectiveness of implemented clean air policies and practices
  • For Transport and Mobility:
    • Air quality data highlights the importance of prioritizing public transport options
    • Air quality data highlights the importance of shifting to cleaner transport fuels
    • Air quality data highlights the importance of restricting vehicle emissions
    • Air quality data highlights the importance of implementing efficiency standards
  • For Waste Management:
    • Air quality data assists in improving urban waste management
    • Air quality data assists in promoting waste reduction, separation, recycling, reusing, and processing
    • Air quality data assists in assessing biological waste management methods 

4. Use air quality data in urban planning

Integrating environmental data in municipal management processes can identify city potential for optimization, ideal practices, and successes. This is why our sensors provide real-time, granular data with increments available every 30 seconds to ensure the highest quality and accuracy to assist in your government’s decision-making. These include

  • Chemical transport models: by geo-spatially analyzing air pollution dispersion and pinpointing individual polluters
  • City marketing: by highlighting god air quality, which increases city attractiveness for tourists and family settlement
  • Climate protection management: by engaging citizens in climate protection activities like acting as air quality sensor hosts or participating in hackathons
  • Smart city integration: by integrating air quality data in a horizontal smart city platform to create synergies with other urban data sources
  • Traffic management: by routing and shaping traffic to reduce overall pollution exposure in the cityscape and through integration in public transport services

5. Supplement your clean air action plans with real-time air quality data

Clean air action plans, urban planning, and urban management are not static. They are subject to change according to various situations and events. Having the right data and information can help with making the best decisions according to your city’s needs. This is why it makes sense to automate some of the data and tasks. Our Environmental Intelligence Cloud provides real-time and historic air quality data alongside aggregated averages and benchmarks in comparison to national and international air quality thresholds. All this information is crucial in evaluating the potential and impact of your city’s clean air actions, thus driving effective policies that will ultimately benefit the health, climate, and environment of your citizens. Contact us today to make this a reality!