The safety of the air we breathe should be our greatest concern and according to UNEP, air pollution is ‘the greatest environmental threat to public health globally.’
Smart air monitoring solutions have the potential to address many of the issues associated with future planning and strategy around air pollution. Matthew Margetts, Director at Smarter Technologies discusses how these solutions are creating transformative processes through IoT smart technologies.
The effects of air pollution
Beyond human health, the environment is also put at risk by air pollution. It is something of a vicious circle. Energy use and production are the major man-made causes of air pollution. However, air pollution not only causes climate change; it accelerates it too.
Smart air quality monitoring
Smart technologies help to identify the source of pollutants and monitor this over time, which provides scope for positive changes. It also provides insights for authorities to deal with individual causes of pollutants more effectively both in the immediate and long term.
Smarter, sustainable cities for cleaner air
In the context of smart cities, these technologies will work towards providing more sustainable urban environments. Through a network of IoT sensors and gateways, authorities, industries, and individuals will have the information they need to understand the sources of air pollution, detect undesirable changes, and react to alerts in real-time.
Smart strategies for more effective air quality management and policy making
By collecting and analysing data over time, policymakers are best able to craft regulations according to actual conditions. They are also positioned to report on the effectiveness of regulation with detailed metrics. This has the potential to reduce the ‘trial and error’ approach.
Digital solutions that grow alongside our cities
Our cities are exploding. According to the World Economic Forum, the world’s population grows by 83 million every year. This results in simultaneous urban population growth, with seven out of ten people living in cities by 2050. The systems devised to address air pollution today need to adapt to changes as they happen for continuity.
The data collected about air pollution can be used to guide the expansion of cities, transport routes, and residential zoning. This has the potential to reduce exposure to pollutants and the negative health impacts over time.