Local Letter: Pollution

As I`m sure you know, I write letters regularly in the local papers in London. Local papers remain a strong source of information for each area of our city and I like to do raise issues which I think are important. They could be about things we need to know about or just things which make us think. Below you will find my latest ‘Local Letter’.



Dear Sir,

Did you know that we do not currently have an accurate view of pollution across London?

According to Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain, “The current method used to measure air pollution in cities is to put an air pollution monitor somewhere in the city and assume that everyone is exposed to that level of air pollution.”

What we need is better more localised, real time, hard evidence.

I’m excited to see that emerging technology allows smartphones to be used as mobile environmental monitoring stations while projects such as the SmartCitizen project encourages people to purchase more affordable monitoring stations for their own home.

With that much data we could have a real time pollution map of London allowing us to focus on the problem spots minute by minute and not just rely on trying to deal with a handful of high profile streets. If traffic is causing the problem then we could trial reducing access and see in real time what effect that has on the area and on surrounding roads.

Let’s hope that with more use of technology, we can roll out a real time pollution map for the whole of London.

Yours faithfully,

Syed Kamall etc.

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