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.

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! 🙂