AIR QUALITY COMMUNITY ACTION NETWORK
Free (open access)
1 - 7
MICHAEL R. OGLETREE, GREGG W. THOMAS
In Denver, 11% of public school children have asthma and some schools have asthma rates as high as 29%, leading to increased school absenteeism. Denver’s high levels of air pollution exacerbate the problem. To address this inequity, Denver, in partnership with Denver Public Schools (DPS), is creating a citywide air quality monitoring network to provide real-time air quality data – utilizing low-cost cutting-edge air pollution sensor technology, redeveloped with solar, battery storage, and data connectivity to make it useful for widescale deployment and replicable in any municipality. To date, no US municipality has a city-led, community-based air-monitoring program. While the air sensors are foundational to the project, the heart of the solution is the collaborative, culturally-appropriate and scientifically-validated approach to programming. Each participating school (with asthma rates above the median) will receive a sensor, air quality dashboard and programming. Programming options are appropriate for elementary, middle or high school and include STEM curriculum, anti-idling campaign, event plan for extremely high air pollution days (e.g., wildfires), built environment safety study to change traffic patterns near schools, and school-based challenges to incentivize new ideas for driving behaviour change and reducing pollution. The dashboard will display real time data and suggested behaviour changes, while the backend data platform will create insights for air quality patterns near each school – leading to policy and institutional changes for the City and DPS – as well as generate automated alerts for stakeholders.
sensors, PM, schools, community, innovation, dashboard, human centred design