Municipalities are buried in suggestions and complaints about air quality. They seek balance to accommodate concerned citizens and a progressive economy. That is impossible with one or two air quality stations in a city. Is it possible to pinpoint the main reason for air pollution without moving around existing or buying new air quality stations?
Raising awareness on air quality
With the rise of awareness on the importance of quality of air in urban areas come also problems. Nowadays citizens want to better understand the surrounding environment and actively engage in its improvement. There are now more cities with national stations that monitor air quality. That includes one or two stations per city. Just enough to raise suspicion and lead to false conclusions.
The perspective of a citizen is that low air quality comes from sources obvious to the naked eye. Bustling traffic, a nearby factory, and small business in the neighborhood. These observations are repeatedly reported to municipalities by concerned citizens.
On the other hand, municipalities find themselves buried in suggestions and complaints from various stakeholders. They are obliged to ensure a sustainable environment for citizens as well as the local economy.
Monitoring air quality
Municipalities try to ensure a quality environment for citizens by monitoring air quality in multiple locations. However, that is not an easy job. This requires moving around mobile air quality stations or buying new, expensive monitoring stations.
Monitoring air quality next to the busy street shows that traffic is not the main reason for low air quality. Due to the lack of comparable measurements, there is really difficult for municipalities to conclude the reasons. To overcome that municipalities came up with a new concept – a hybrid monitoring system. To increase the spatial granularity of monitoring systems, municipalities merge IoT sensors and existing monitoring stations.
Finding the reason
The results showed that the main pollutants are small wood-burning furnaces in households. The better spatial granularity of pollution sources helped them to start targeted campaigns for energy renovation of houses and heating systems.
Happy and supportive citizens
The success of the project is threefold. Citizens received better insights into the quality of their environment. They engaged in local communities to find the reason for pollution, and the city’s overall air quality has improved. Creative municipalities using this approach are endorsed by their citizens and can realize new projects much easier.
An experienced IoT partner with extensive knowledge of air quality can help successfully build and maintain a hybrid air quality monitoring system in your municipality.