New funding for High Resolution Low Cost Air Quality Monitoring

Dr Rudy Arthur has bee awarded £10k by Exeter University’s Policy Engagement Fund for his project “High Resolution Low Cost Air Quality Monitoring”. Air pollution has a significant impact on respiratory diseases like asthma and lung cancer as well as being a significant contributing factor for cardiac disease. The government’s Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants reports up to 36,000 excess deaths each year in the UK due to NO2 pollution alone.

This project will work together with Haywards Heath Town Council to pilot a high-resolution air quality monitoring platform using low cost, off-the-shelf air quality monitors and cloud computing solutions. We will set up a website to display real time air-quality measurements on an interactive map available to the public. This will directly inform council policy on air pollution management by providing decision-critical information to local policy makers and help inform decisions on town planning, traffic management, walk-to-school routes, tree planting and more.

Hot But Habitable workshop – interdisciplinary collaboration to understand heatwaves

In early March, Hywel participated in the “Hot But Habitable” workshop at the Lorenz Centre in Leiden. The meeting was highly interdisciplinary, bringing medical doctors and city resilience planners together with climate scientists and sociologists (Hywel was the token geek!). It was also managed in an unusual way – for science, at least. There were no formal presentations and no Powerpoint, just a lot of open discussion. The result was a creative and stimulating event with a lot of new ideas. Since returning from Leiden, new collaborations with European partners are being developed to explore the use of social sensing to monitor the social impacts of extreme heat. Check out the Global Heat Health Information Network to find out more about heatwaves and the various projects that are going on.