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Boris hails London air monitoring project launch

AirSensa project to install 10,000 air monitoring units on schools and other buildings across capital officially launched

A project to roll out the ‘world’s largest’ air quality monitoring network across London was described as “extremely valuable” by the Mayor of London after its official launch yesterday (November 20).

The AirSensa network will see the installation of up to 10,000 monitoring units placed on schools, commercial buildings and other infrastructure across London, with the aim of providing detailed street level air pollution data for residents and workers in the capital.

The AirSensa project will see 10,000 units installed across London

The AirSensa project will see 10,000 air monitoring units installed across London

According to not-for-profit member organisation Change London, which is designing and developing the network, the data will also help provide educational materials for schoolchildren and will also be of use to policy makers and planners in the city.

The first 500 AirSensa units will be installed within the next six months, with the first statistics available to the public after that.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “This new project will be an extremely valuable addition to our existing monitoring networks, and enable us to more accurately assess our progress, improve air pollution, and help protect the health of Londoners.”

Each AirSensa monitoring unit will take continuous readings of key air pollutants and atmospheric conditions before transmitting the data to the project’s cloud platform. The data can then be used for a range of real-time apps “to help create targeted solutions”.

Change London

Jonathan Steel, Change London chief executive commented: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure. The AirSensa project is creating a world first – a geographically dense network of sensors providing detailed, long-term monitoring of London’s air for the first time. Thousands of Londoners develop illnesses or die early as a result of air pollution and nationally it is estimated that 30,000 Britons die annually as a direct or indirect result of air quality issues, costing the UK economy £16 billion a year. This is unacceptable and we are committed to improving the lives of those who live and work in our wonderful city.”

The project is a partnership between Change London, global real estate advisor CBRE and worldwide law firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM). In addition, it received a £1 million donation from the founder of taxi firm Addison Lee, John Griffin, to provide the first 500 air quality sensors in schools (see airqualitynews.com story).

CBRE

CBRE is installing monitors on its own offices in the city as part of its responsible business strategy. The company, which manages 20 million square feet of property across London and advises a number of major landlords, will also be leading an education programme on the AirSensa project to encourage its adoption by commercial landlords.

David King, UK asset services chairman at CBRE said: “Initial discussions with significant property owners in Central London, who collectively own more than 300 buildings across the capital, have been exceptionally positive and we anticipate a large percentage will sign up to the scheme. We strongly encourage all property owners in London to follow suit so we can gain an accurate picture of London’s air quality.”

Meanwhile, KWM – which advises developers, landlords, tenants and clients such as the Crown Estate and British Land – will provide ongoing legal advice and support in connection with the project and plans to install its own monitor at its premises on Queen Street Place.

Ed Page, co-head of the international real estate sector group at KWM said: “We are proud to support Change London and a project that promises to deliver tangible results which we believe will spark a positive change in the way we view air pollution in our city. Installing an AirSensa is high on our agenda and we hope to see likeminded businesses do the same.”

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