London councils awarded £4m for tech to improve air quality

The South London Partnership has been awarded £4m for an Internet of Things (IoT) project to improve air quality.

The partnership, which comprises of five London boroughs – Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, and Sutton – has been given the funding by London Councils to develop the platform, which involves connecting various sensors across borough boundaries.

The project – funded by the London Business Rates Pilot – will look to use the internet-connected sensors, embedded in everyday objects, to help the boroughs share a wide range of data with minimal human intervention.

It is hoped that the IoT project will help the councils improve transport, environment and health outcomes, while also delivering significant savings to the boroughs’ budgets.

Cllr Liz Green, Leader of Kingston Council, said: ‘We are delighted to be part of this exciting and ambitious project and look forward to working with Sutton, Croydon, Richmond and Merton in order to make this a hugely successful venture.

‘We’re confident we’ll gain valuable insights from deploying Internet of Things technology, which is a great opportunity to enhance the lives of residents in our borough, support local businesses and boost Kingston’s economic development.’

The project will be led by Sutton Council, which was selected to oversee the project on behalf of the other boroughs.

One benefit the councils could gain from the project is a combination of air quality and location data to see how people’s health is affected by air pollution in certain areas.

This will help the local authorities make plans to reduce air pollutants, helping them make their boroughs cleaner and healthier.

The project may also offer the five councils the ability to monitor how people’s lives impact on waste and air pollution.

This could include an understanding of where people travel to and from, the routes they take, and what time they make their journeys.

Cllr Robin Brown, leader-member for finance at Richmond Council, added: ‘This funding will enable Richmond, along with the other boroughs in the South London Partnership to deliver an exciting and innovative project that will trial the benefits of IoT – pointing the way for further investment to transform and improve services for local residents and businesses.’

If the project is successful, a national local government IoT platform and network could well be developed, allowing councils, universities and the public to share relevant data.

Photo Credit – Pixabay