Residents across Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets are now able to check live air pollution levels near them by using a new online tool developed by the three boroughs.
- New online tool launched to check live air quality levels
- Air Aware developed by Newham, Hackney & Tower Hamlets
- Online chat function to provide latest advice and information
The tool, called Air Aware, shows live particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide levels, helping people to make informed choices about their exposure to air quality. It uses a chatbot that can provide the latest advice in direct response to questions that users ask, which can help people to better protect themselves from the impact of air pollution.
Councillor John Whitworth, Deputy Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, Air Quality and Climate Emergency, said: “In partnership with two London Council’s, and developed with local residents, we’ve launched the first-of-its-kind Air Aware tool to help people check live air quality levels, and the latest advice, to reduce exposure and the impact of air pollution on people’s health and the environment.
“We’ve come leaps and bounds to significantly reduce air pollution, both in Newham and wider across capital, but there is still work to do to clean up the air we breathe; from making changes by walking or cycling, or changing the way we build and heat homes. Working with our neighbouring borough’s, alongside residents, partners and businesses, we are committed to creating a cleaner and greener borough for all.”
Each borough has been working with local residents over the past six months to co-design and create a tool with information that residents have asked for.
While air quality has improved significantly in London in the last decade, people’s mind, hearts and lungs are affected if they are exposed to harmful levels of air pollution, particularly over longer periods of time.
Air pollution is also linked to low birth weights, poorer academic performance and a degeneration in cognitive abilities associated with dementia. Air pollution can affect us all so taking preventative measures can help to improve everyone’s health.
Air Aware uses a web-based platform and can be viewed on a mobile device, laptop or computer. The councils have worked with a developer and local residents to design a tool that can be used by all including features such as translation and text to speak. To help reach a wide audience, publicly accessible screens will soon be installed in every library in Newham.
Air Aware brings together information from across the participating boroughs into one place and will keep residents informed about local initiatives and campaigns that they can join. Users will also be able to register for a more personalised experience to receive information more tailored to their locality and their interests.
Air Aware has been developed with funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is one of many ways the borough is taking action on air pollution, which are all contained in the borough’s Air Quality Action Plan.
The Council has an extensive network of monitors collecting data on pollutants and this tool can help to improve public access to this data. Find out more about Newham’s work to tackle air pollution and view pollution monitoring at: Air quality in Newham – Newham Council
Last year, Newham Council became the first local authority in the country to launch a Climate Action Just Transition Plan, helping to address the unequal impacts of climate change on Newham’s residents with air pollution being one of the four main public health impacts highlighted in the report. For more information on the Just Transition Plan, visit the Council website.
Air Aware is live for residents to view at: www.air-aware.co.uk