Community Air Quality Monitoring: Sheffield

The goal of this blog is to share best practices for involving the public in helping plan and support sustainable urban transportation. The main objective is to identify tools that help people become really involved rather than just commenting.

Here’s a cool idea from the East End Quality of Life Initiative in Sheffield England that has local residents actually measure air quality in their neighborhoods. What is really great about this idea is that the residents really get a feel for air quality … it becomes more than just an abstract idea. Here’s a description of the program from their website:

East End Quality of Life Initiative supports groups to get the local pollution monitoring set up. Every month on a set day decided by the community volunteers, they change the diffusion tubes. The tube details (batch number, tube number, site, date and time of change over) are written on a log sheet and sent with the exposed tubes to the laboratory for analysis. Before the set date in the next month unexposed tubes are sent to each group. This process takes no more than one hour per month. The results are sent to groups every month, usually in the form of a chart, or the full dataset if required.

There must be many other ideas for creatively involving residents in planning activities, feel free to add yours in the comments. (Thanks to British Council Creative Cities Newsletter)

Andy Nash

March 4, 2011

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