Www.airqualitynow.eu, A Common Website And Air Quality Indices To Compare Cities Across Europe
Free (open access)
S. vd. Elshout, K. Leger, H. Heich, N. Hodges & F. Nussio
Air quality is a public concern. This is partly due to the \“right to know” principle embodied in European legislation. Despite this common legislation, the way air quality is being interpreted and communicated differs considerably. For specialists raw monitoring data for Europe are available but these are not usable by the general public. Easy to understand and internationally comparable air quality information from one city to another is scarce. The CITEAIR project facilitates the comparison of urban air quality in near real-time by introducing two products: common air quality indices (hourly, daily and annual), implemented on a common website www.airqualitynow.eu. This paper describes these indices and presents their application on the common website. The indices and the website both aim at presenting the air quality of the participating cities in a comparable way. The website is designed to receive and display data from each city wanting to join. The main part is dedicated to compare the cities index values using different time scales (hourly, daily or annual) and for two types of exposure thanks to a background and a traffic index. In addition, space is offered to cities for presenting themselves according to a common template, providing background information on their specific air pollution situation and associated reduction measures. Participating is easy: cities upload their data through ftp and the indices calculations are automatically made. The website provides a dynamic picture of the air quality and is updated each hour enticing viewers to make repeated visits. However, participation with only a daily update or with yearly data is feasible as well. The indices and the website do not aim to replace more targeted local information. Their value added is to provide, for the first time, a European and comparable picture of the air quality in near real-time easily accessible through a common platform and presentation of the results. Keywords: air quality index, public information, website, European platform.
air quality index, public information, website, European platform.