Covid 19: Smartcities Empowering Residents with Air Quality Data
As a direct result of the lockdown and reduced economic activity to combat the spread of Covid-19, improved air quality and reduced air pollution has been reported across China, Italy and Spain (so far). The European Environment Agency's data confirm large decreases of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentrations in particular, which can be largely attributed to reduced motor traffic emissions in recent weeks. The decrease in pollutants ranges from 21% to 56% (recorded in Madrid), which is significant. In the shadow of this pandemic, it is a rare positive news story. And it is positive for a whole range of reasons, not simply because we understand the macro importance of clean air for survival. It is hugely positive on an individual level as it offers an element of relief to the most vulnerable amongst us. Exposure to high levels of air pollution can lead to adverse health effects, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Earlier this month The Guardian newspaper reported that poor air quality is likely to increase the coronavirus death rate. In fact, last week we wrote about the impact of air quality on people who are experiencing respiratory illnesses, including those infected with the coronavirus. You can read the full article here.
Understanding the link between air quality and the coronavirus - and the impact of this on people - it is heartening that more and more cities are making air quality data available to citizens and visitors to the area. People accessing this important information can gain usable insights about the quality of the air they are breathing in on a daily - and sometimes hourly - basis.
By way of example, last month, Dublin City Council gave residents and visitors to the city access to real time data on the quality of the air they breathe (and about noise levels in their neighbourhoods) through a newly-launched website dublincityairandnoise.ie. The launch of this website follows Dublin City Council's commitment to the global BreatheLife campaign, which aims to improve air quality by 2030. The team here at Sonitus Systems are particularly proud to have been involved in the design, delivery and ongoing maintenance of these critical citizen information tools. The new website provides access to six stations set up by the local authority to monitor local air quality conditions, as well as the network of eight air quality monitoring stations operated by the local authority in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Agency that are part of the national air quality monitoring network. The noise monitoring hardware is manufactured and the network maintained by Sonitus Systems. All of the local air quality stations are connected to the cloud using Sonitus Systems remote logging technology.
You can read more about the Dublin City Council offering here.
Does your city or organisation require air quality monitoring? Sonitus Systems offers comprehensive noise/air quality monitoring and smart city solutions, using the latest technology and automated systems. We simplify the air monitoring process, giving you access to real-time data and online reporting. For more details on our air quality monitoring products and services, contact the team at Sonitus Systems