Airsensa to Establish Large City Demonstration Mesh in Manchester

Air pollution in UK cities and even in rural areas where traffic is sitting stationary is only now hitting the headlines, but why only now is air pollution being taken seriously? Primarily because it’s an unseen, previously poorly quantifiable issue, with an impact on health that has been difficult to isolate from other factors. 

In Manchester a new project is a foot to understand pollution across the city and enable this to shape transport decisions going forward.  A report by think-tank IPPR North published in June 2018 noted that 1.6m life years will be lost to people living in Greater Manchester over the coming century unless urgent action is taken, while the annual cost of air pollution to the local economy tops £1billion.  In addition, the report found that Central Manchester has the highest rate of hospital admissions for asthma in the country, followed by North Manchester, and linked the prevalence of the condition to particulate vehicle pollution.

AirSensa’s plan is to establish a large city demonstration mesh to showcase low-cost monitoring in major cities, and this will start with Manchester.

Transport for Greater Manchester will work with AirSensa, three local universities, and a range of other partners to install a network of 200 AirSensa pollution sensor units to monitor key air pollutants in real time. Using their unique STORRM platform AirSensa will collect, analyse and disseminate this data to individuals, businesses and policymakers.

These meshes deliver data stored in a private blockchain, calibrated and analysed.  Data can be analysed on a real-time basis, and can also include historic pictures as well as forward looking forecasts and projections. This technology is potentially a major advance in how we can understand and tackle air pollution, both in terms of helping people avoid its worst effects, and in developing effective interventions and solutions.

This project is certainly one to keenly watch and I will write further on its progress.

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