London boroughs launch live air pollution information platform

The boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets have launched an online tool, known as Air Aware, to enable residents to check live air pollution levels in the area.

Air Aware, shows live particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels, helping people to make informed choices about their exposure to air quality.

It also features a chat function that can provide verified advice in direct response to questions that users ask, which can help people better protect themselves from the impact of air pollution.

Each borough has been working with local residents over the past six months to design and create a tool with information that residents want on air quality.

Air Aware uses a web-based platform so that it can be viewed on a mobile device, laptop or computer. The councils have worked with a developer and local residents to design a tool that is accessible to all including features such as translation and text to speak. To help reach a wide audience, publicly accessible screens will soon be installed at various locations across the boroughs.

Air Aware brings together information from across the participating boroughs into one place and will keep residents informed about local initiatives and campaigns in which they can get involved. Users will also be able to register for a more personalised experience so that they can receive information more tailored to their locality and their interests.

Cllr Mete Coban MBE, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said: ‘While we’ve seen significant improvements in air quality in recent years, it’s still a public health emergency.

‘This tool is the first of its kind in the capital, which has been developed with local people, based on their wishes. It shows live air pollution levels and can answer lots of common questions about the effect of air pollution and how to avoid it.

‘There’s still a lot more to do if we’re to clean up our air, and that’s why we’ll continue to do what we can to reduce wood and coal burning in the borough and support people to walk, cycle and take public transport.”

Councillor John Whitworth, Newham Council Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, Air Quality and Climate Emergency, said: ‘In partnership with two London Council’s, and developed with local residents, we’ve launched the first-of-its-kind Air Aware tool to help people check live air quality levels, and the latest advice, to reduce exposure and the impact of air pollution on people’s health and the environment.

‘We’ve come leaps and bounds to significantly reduce air pollution, both in Newham and wider across the capital, but there is still work to do to clean up the air we breathe; from making changes by walking or cycling, or changing the way we build and heat homes. Working with our neighbouring boroughs, alongside residents, partners and businesses, we are committed to creating a cleaner and greener borough for all.’

Executive Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: ‘Improving air quality and tackling the causes of air pollution is crucial to the health of our residents. Residents have worked alongside experts and designers to co-create this Air Aware tool, which empowers individuals to take action around air pollution.’


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5 months ago

Good idea and if this works perhaps it can be introduced elsewhere. Some of us in rural England still have no local air quality monitoring at all, at least not in our small towns or anywhere nearby by. The postcode air pollution info sites always seem to give low levels of air pollution when I suspect it is not really so. At least not so for many hours of the day, especially late afternoon when the traffic fumes build up. Why isn’t it a legal requirement for all local authorities to monitor air quality continuously and provide a link we can check?

Kate Griffin
Kate Griffin
5 months ago

It’s great that you’re making more people aware of this useful tool, but why wouldn’t you simply link to it in the story rather than making readers click away and Google it?

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