Brainwaves and bright ideas

The success of the recent Clean Air Cafés has shown that tea & cake really must be food for thought! By putting their heads together residents have come up with well over 100 different ideas for tackling local air pollution and creating liveable neighbourhoods. As there were so many, we’ve grouped them into loose themes, such as ‘Making the community visible’, ‘Reclaiming the streets’ and ‘Commuter traffic’.

We used Padlet to create the ‘Ideas Wall‘ below (click on either of those links to bring up a bigger version; scroll up & down and left & right to see all the ideas).

If you’d like to support or help develop any of these mini-projects, please do let us know through the comments section below. At the next Clean Air Café on Tuesday 4th June we’ll be seeing how they can be put into action!

Just in case you’d like to see all the original post it notes, here they are grouped by theme. NB The constant shuffling of bits of paper meant that many of the green dots used for voting fell off! (But don’t worry we took photos beforehand 🙂 ).

Car ownership
Reclaiming the streets
Public transport
Commuter traffic and Business
Commercial traffic
Making the community visible
Pedestrians and Greenery

Conversations about cleaner air

So far we’ve run two Clean Air Cafés in St Denys, inviting residents to share their concerns on local air quality, sharing data from local sensors and generating ideas for change. At each event 45-50 people participated in the discussions and it’s been fantastic to host conversations around clean air and healthy streets with local people.

We collated all the post it notes and comments from the first event and used ‘Wordle’ to come up with the following graphics. The first one shows the areas in the neighbourhood where people feel there is a problem with air pollution; the second is more positive – the elements which make the community of St Denys strong. We would like to draw on these neighbourhood assets to help solve the air quality problem.

The second Clean Air Café was all about generating ideas for cleaner air and healthier streets. Below is the huge pile of ideas on post it notes sorted into different themes. One in particular stood out …

We were really pleased that Flo joined us at the second event to talk a little about the sensors that the University of Southampton has installed around the area and the data that is being produced. A separate blogpost will be written about the sensor data – watch this space!

So pleased that residents of all ages are coming to our events!

Tea, cake, post it notes and maps at our 1st event.

Boxing clever

The Breathing Spaces team was celebrating yesterday as we have now got 2 air quality sensor boxes installed and collecting data in St Denys! Huge thanks to the residents and local organisations who have agreed to be part of the project, not to mention to the sensor team at the University of Southampton. We will be carrying out further installations over the next few weeks and we’re looking forward to analysing all the data.

If you’d like to get involved in the project, not just by hosting a sensor but by sharing your skills, insights and local knowledge, please do get in touch.

APRIL UPDATE: We now have 6 sensor boxes in total installed in and around St Denys – 3 in different locations on Priory Road, 1 on Kent Road, 1 on St Denys Road and 1 on Portswood Road.

Room to breathe

The Breathing Spaces project is underway in St Denys!

We started off in January with some site visits around the neighbourhood to find some good locations for air quality sensors – we want to get a good idea of local air quality both on busy roads and in quieter spots. Over the next couple of weeks we will have 4 to 6 multi-sensor boxes installed in different locations across the area and will start to produce some graphs of the data to share with everyone.

The boxes, provided by the University of Southampton, will measure real-time levels of particulate matter as well as temperature and humidity. We will make the data from the sensors available online and use them to inform our conversations around clean air.

The image below is taken from the Government air quality monitor on the A33, which shows spikes in roadside air pollution in January this year, and the need to have a greater number of sensors around the city. (The annual legal limit for both nitrogen dioxide and PM10 is 40ug/m3).

We have also started having conversations with residents to find out where they think local pollution hotspots are, the causes of poor air quality in the neighbourhood and what we could do about them. We will be adding these comments to our online air quality map, which is in development. Watch this space! 🙂