London will soon benefit from the world’s most sophisticated air-quality-monitoring system, potentially capable of analysing harmful pollution in up to 1,000 toxic hot spots across the city including schools, hospitals, construction sites and busy roads.
C40, the network of cities committed to urgent action on climate change, has issued a ‘call for proposals’ to deliver the £750,000 ($1 million) pilot scheme in London. The tender process is open to all organisations, including researchers, universities, NGOs, air quality monitoring or technology companies capable of delivering the ambitious pilot scheme in London.
Once underway, the initiative will test new technologies that provide information about the air people are breathing as they live, work and travel throughout the city. The pilot will also focus on opportunities for directly engaging Londoners in combatting air pollution.
London already has the largest network of air quality monitors of any city, and has access to world-class modelling of emissions. However, despite this capability, a very small proportion of the city is covered by air quality measurements, which means the data available to inform policy-making is incomplete.
C40 is seeking partners capable of using the latest developments in lower-cost fixed, mobile, portable, remote and wearable sensing technology to generate new data to fill these gaps. Ultimately the project could lead to better-informed policy making and more chances for citizens to get involved in tackling air pollution in London.
The lessons learnt from the London pilot scheme will be replicated in other C40 cities, including those that have less developed, more traditional air quality monitoring or modelling capabilities.
In December 2017, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Mayor of Bengaluru, Sampath Raj, announced that London and Bengaluru will lead a global partnership of up to 20 other world cities on tackling air pollution in urban centres. The C40 Air Quality Network, will allow city leaders to share ideas, nurture innovation and drive ambition in the global effort to improve the quality of the air in cities worldwide.
Shirley Rodrigues, London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said: “I’m proud London is the first city to trial this major new project, the first initiative to come out of the air quality partnership network. The Mayor is doing everything in his power to clean up our toxic air, from introducing the world’s first Toxicity Charge (T-charge) for the most polluting vehicles in central London, to cleaning up our bus fleet and bringing forward the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. We are seeing some improvements in London, but there is still a long way to go. This new technology will help us understand the true scale of the air quality health crisis and how air pollution changes daily, delivering the most comprehensive data on toxic pollution ever and informing our continued fight for cleaner air.”
Mark Watts, C40, Executive Director said: “Almost every major city in the world is dealing with the threat of toxic air pollution, which is taking an incredible toll on the health of citizens, public finances, quality of life and contributing to climate change. London is already a world leader in responding to this global threat. C40 is looking for world class partners, from the business, university and non-profit sector to roll out this pilot scheme and create and test the world’s most detailed air pollution monitoring system here in London – where C40 has its headquarters. Our ambition is to identify solutions that can eventually clean the air of every city on earth and improve the lives of billions of people, starting with the citizens of London.”
The full Call for Proposals is available here. Proposals will be accepted until 5:00pm EST, March 9th, 2018.