Last week we talked about the why and how of air quality monitoring but we did not explore how air quality may be impacted by other vectors and that is the focus of this article.
Air quality has become the primary concern effecting the urban environment in recent years, yet very little is understood about the specifics of how poor air quality affects us, or indeed how best to monitor it. You only have to walk along any busy road in any city or town to understanding the choking nature of car fumes, but what is bad? How harmful is the air? Should you walk or get into a car to protect yourself from the fumes? Does it differ significantly at different times of the day or in different weather conditions?
In my last post, I proposed turning streetlights or public lighting from being a cost burden, purely a line in the highways budget, into a smart city (you can read town, village or campus here too) connectivity backbone that all departments in the local authority or municipality could benefit from. By investing a bit more money during the streetlight upgrade program - many public bodies are looking to invest in their lighting in order to save energy and maintenance costs - the new lighting can be augmented with a radio node to create a wireless network to which a whole host of sensors and controllers can be attached.