Air quality data

Real-time air quality data from the Kent Road sensor during April 2019

The University of Southampton team has now installed 11 sensor boxes for the Breathing Spaces project, in and around St Denys. Near real-time information on local air quality in St Denys can be found here.

The locations of the 11 sensors in and around St Denys

DISCLAIMER: The data collected by the Breathing Spaces sensor boxes has not been recorded using legally validated reference equipment and should therefore be treated with caution. In other words, please don’t place too much emphasis on the numbers presented in the graphs as we cannot guarantee that a particular legal limit or air quality threshold has been exceeded. If you’re interested in finding out more about the methods used, the University of Southampton team has recently published a paper in Nature.

However, as you can see by the graph below, the general trends match the data provided by the Government automatic monitoring station (AURN) in the city centre, so they provide a fairly reliable indication of local air pollution.

Average readings from the Breathing Spaces sensors plotted against readings from the city centre AURN for April 2020

Analysis & mapping

We have also carried out some analysis of the data – please click here for our key findings so far.

We are also in the process of developing an air quality map for Southampton. This provides links to data from the Breathing Spaces sensors and other sources such as Defra monitoring stations and Southampton City Council diffusion tubes (Nitrogen Dioxide). The map also includes residents’ perceptions of air quality, in particular in relation to health and ideas for change. For example, some people report having to use stronger asthma medication or having to make journeys at times when the roads aren’t so congested.

The Breathing Spaces sensor boxes monitor particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5), temperature and humidity.


The graphs & map on this page were produced by Robin Wilson. The real-time data is produced in conjunction with Solent University.

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