UKA correspondentTuesday 19 December 2017

London to get up to 1,000 air pollution sensors

Partnership with Indian city of Bengaluru involves analysing pollution in ‘toxic hot spots’ across the capital

The Greater London Authority (GLA) is to install between 100 and 1,000 air pollution monitors and begin to use mobile devices to capture relevant data from around the city.

St Paul's and BT Tower seen through rainMayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the project, which will be carried out by the C40 Climate Leadership Group – an alliance of cities dealing with climate change issues – as part of a partnership with the Indian city of Bengaluru.

London will also run trials on a new £750,000 air quality monitoring system. It will analyse pollution in up to 1,000 toxic hot spots across the city, close to schools, hospitals, construction sites and busy roads.

The sensors are part of an air quality awareness project, organised by the FIA Foundation charity, running in schools in Delhi, London and Nairobi using a toolkit developed by the London Sustainability Exchange for the Mayor for use in London's schools.

It is part of an effort involving the C40 group in which Khan and Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj, will co-chair a network of up to 20 cities to develop solutions to deal with air pollution. London will share results from the new air quality sensor monitoring trial which could then be rolled out in Bengaluru, Delhi and other cities tackling toxic air.

Lethal air

Khan said: “I’m doing everything in my power to clean up London’s lethal air from introducing the world’s first toxicity charge for older more polluting cars and bringing forward the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, to cleaning up our bus and taxi fleet.

“I’m pleased my ambitious work will soon be boosted by new state-of-the-art air quality sensor monitoring technology that will help deliver the most comprehensive data on toxic pollution ever.”

Globally, air pollution is causing 6.5 million premature deaths every year according to the World Health Organisation, with cities across almost every continent facing air pollution that breaches health guidelines.

Image by Dun.can, CC BY 2.0 through flickr