Capital Idea : London Air Meter

Capital Idea : London Air Meter

14 July 2017

As NLA partners, we were invited to submit our idea for making the capital a better place, and our idea is featured in the current issue of New London Quarterly

Air pollution is London’s hidden killer. A 2016 report by the Royal College of Physicians estimated there are more than 40,000 deaths in the UK each year due to pollution. 

Our proposal is for a London Air Meter (LAM) that provides information to pedestrians on how safe it is to use a particular route. A small air meter fitted to an existing signage totem connects to an illuminated cloud above with a binary indicator that shines white when air levels are acceptable and glows yellow when levels are dangerously high. 

Each totem has a Bluetooth® Low Energy transmitter that broadcasts tiny radio signals over the air containing unique, location-specific data. Modern smartphones constantly scan for these signals. When phones enter their range an associated app responds with the desired action. For example, it can fetch air quality information that is tied to a user's profile or micro-location. Highlighting the poor air quality in your immediate vicinity. Placing LAMs at regular intervals at street level turns the unseen threat of pollution into something immediately recognisable and visible. 

The illuminated cloud is intended to be obvious and people can then choose which routes to use and which ones to avoid. 

Idea: Phil Dring (Partner), Thomas Longley and Rachel Baldwin            


AJ Retrofit Award