More than 225 sensors have been installed across the borough of Camden, offering real-time data on air pollution. 

London is launching the world’s first hyper-local public air quality monitoring network, with air quality specialists AirScape responsible for setting up the system in partnership with Camden Council and The Camden Clean Air Initiative. 

In total, over 225 sensors have been installed, offering 45 times more data points and 60 times greater refresh rates than existing reference stations, giving an accurate street-by-street picture of real time air quality in the area. This data is freely available to the public through the AirScape web platform, which will enable people and organisations to make more pro-active decisions to improve atmospheric conditions. 

It is hoped this can act as a blueprint for other London boroughs and councils, with potential for the scheme to be replicated in  cities across the world. The launch comes around one month after beta testing began, and has already led to significant findings. For example, a marked increase in NO2 during city wide public transport strikes that brought the Underground to a standstill, and dangerous ozone levels on 17th June, when thermometers recorded the hottest day of the year so far. 

‘Reducing air pollution is absolutely vital to improving the health and wellbeing of everyone in Camden. The detailed data from this network will revolutionise how we can engage with our community, giving us the power to make smarter, informed decisions to tackle air pollution,’ said Cllr Adam Harrison, Cabinet member for a sustainable Camden. ‘Making this data freely accessible to all members of our community further demonstrates the council’s longstanding commitment to the open sharing of data in the public interest.’ 

‘Those living, working and visiting the Borough of Camden must be protected from exposure to toxic air pollution. In order to improve air quality, we must first understand its sources – exactly what the ground-breaking AirScape project allows us to do,’ added Jeffrey Young, CEO of The Camden Clean Air Initiative. ‘The AirScape project aligns directly with The Camden Clean Air Initiative’s vision to fill the Borough with real-time air quality sensors and place Camden at the forefront of London’s sustainability agenda.’ 

Elsewhere in London, Westminster Council has launched a new air quality digital portal, while two housing estates in the City of London have recorded marked declines pollutant levels. 

Image credit: Samuel Regan-Asante

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