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Breathe easy: cleaner routes for Londoners

28 March 2017

In 2017 it took just under a week for Brixton Road to become the first place in London to breach EU objectives for nitrogen dioxide for 2017. To assist Londoners in combatting the high levels of pollution they are exposed to almost every day, scientists from the Environmental Research Group developed an app that helps travelers to plan their least polluted route across the capital.

Modern air pollution is invisible most of the time which makes it hard to judge where and when we’re being exposed.

Andrew Grieve, Environmental Research Group

City Air allows users to input two points and then provides information on the amount of pollution along the different routes so that they can choose the most suitable path on a 3D map. As part of the calculations, routes are passed through the group’s ‘Nowcast’ map so that the app can present a low, middle and high pollution route between any two points in the city, including the percentage difference between them.

The app also provides pollution alerts and advice tailored to different user groups such as cyclist, jogger, driver or business.

Andrew Grieve the Senior Air Quality Analyst who designed the application said: ‘The combination of pollution forecast alerts, tailored advice and low pollution route planning is really a first for this type of application. Modern air pollution is invisible most of the time which makes it hard to judge where and when we’re being exposed. We hope the groundbreaking augmented reality 3D view of pollution across the city will help users see the city in a new way and ultimately improve health by offering low pollution routes to lower their exposure on their everyday journeys through the city.’ 

You can download City Air for iPhone, iPad and Android.

Find out more about the Environmental Research Group.

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