A partnership led by Oxford City Council alongside numerous other organisations including the University, OxAir is one of 61 projects to receive a Defra Air Quality Grant under a scheme designed to help local authorities address some of the UK’s worst air pollution problem areas.
It will use numerous low-cost, portable sensors to measure two key air pollutants; nitrogen dioxide and fine particulates. This will create a detailed picture of air quality at different times and in different places across the city. This will in turn inform better policies to reduce harmful air pollution and improve public awareness of the problem.
Ultimately the data could be used in applications such as real-time pollution maps that enable people to change their behaviour to reduce their exposure, perhaps by altering their route or mode of transport to and from work. At present, air-quality data in Oxford is patchy and measurements are not taken frequently enough to provide useful information about the levels of different pollutants people face in their day-to-day lives, and about how this may be affecting their health.