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Best practices from Breathe London: Integrating air quality sensors with regulatory monitoring

Lessons learned from integrating hundreds of air quality sensors across London

The Breathe London network launched in January 2021. Following a successful 2-year pilot, the Mayor of London took over the funding of the network, appointing Imperial College London to deliver the programme.

The network integrates calibrated air quality measurements from hundreds of Node-S air sensors with reference-grade measurements provided by London's regulatory air monitoring network — the largest and most advanced such network in Europe.

In this recording from the 2022 Air Sensors International Conference, the operators of this network — Imperial College London, the Greater London Authority, Bloomberg Philanthropies, and Clarity —  share real-world learnings and other valuable information about the use of air sensors at the city scale.

Topics covered by this panel include:

  • Sensor distribution — who should own the sensors, and how should they be distributed to ensure equitable air monitoring coverage?
  • Siting and installation — how to select and prioritize monitoring sites? What indemnity provisions should be made, who is responsible for maintenance, and who is liable for making sure devices are properly installed?
  • QA/QC and calibration — how to ensure data accuracy?
  • Community engagement — how to use a sensor network to build relationships between community groups and local government?
  • Research applications — how has data from the network been used for case studies and research, and what other potential applications exist?

Interested in developing an air sensor network?

Get in touch with Clarity
  • Meiling Gao (Moderator)

    Chief Operating Officer

    Clarity Movement Co.

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  • Bill Magavern

    Policy Director

    Coalition for Clean Air

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  • Meiling Gao (Moderator)

    Chief Operating Officer

    Clarity Movement Co.

    Sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Quisque egestas diam in arcu cursus euismod quis viverra nibh.

  • Bill Magavern

    Policy Director

    Coalition for Clean Air

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Guide includes best practices from: 

  • London

    The Greater London Authority (GLA) funded more than 100 sensors to complement the existing, dense network of reference monitors in London. This network has revolutionized Londoners’ access to reliable air quality data and provides GLA higher-resolution data.
  • Paris

    150 low-cost sensors were installed at schools across Paris in September 2019 to provide new information and insights on air quality. The data is collected, analyzed, and integrated into the existing air quality monitoring and mapping system operated by Airparif.
  • Bangalore

    A building in the city of Bengaluru, which is using Clarity Nodes to measure its levels of fine particulate matter
    The Global Climate Health Alliance (GCHA), the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), and the Healthy Air Coalition installed 30 indicative air quality monitors across the city in 2019. The network was deployed at strategic locations to gain actionable, local data.