Webinar — Best practices from Breathe London

Lessons learned from integrating air quality sensors with the most advanced regulatory monitoring network in Europe

Learn what makes the largest air quality sensor network in Europe work!

Over 350 air quality sensors are installed in boroughs across London through the Breathe London program. Every Node-S air sensor is co-located at reference sites and checked by researchers at Imperial College London before deployment. Once deployed, data are continually cross-checked against reference sites in real-time.

In this panel discussion, the operators of this network — Imperial College London, the Greater London Authority, and Clarity — share valuable information and real-world learnings about the use of air sensors at the city scale.

Topics include:

  • 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?

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What is Breathe 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 air quality measurements from hundreds of sensors with reference-grade measurements provided by London's regulatory air monitoring network — the largest and most advanced such network in Europe.

Aside from technological innovation, one of the most remarkable components of Breathe London is that it puts air quality monitoring into the hands of London’s communities. Thanks to support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, community groups can apply for fully-funded sensors in their neighborhoods — offering a new way to engage citizens with air quality.

  • Planning your
    low-cost sensor network

    What questions should you ask during the planning process, and what stakeholders should be involved? Our guide includes a checklist of topics to consider when planning your indicative monitoring network.
  • Deploying and implementing your network

    What role does colocation play in deploying a low-cost sensor network, and how can I ensure the sensors are properly calibrated? Our guide includes the steps you should take to ensure a successful colocation and deployment.
  • Managing your network: moving from data to action

    We can’t manage what we can’t measure, but measurement is just the first step to improving air quality with your network. Our guide provides steps to ensure that your network is providing actionable insights for all stakeholders.

What is Air Quality Monitoring 2.0? 

Air Quality Monitoring 2.0 consists of using low-cost, highly-scalable sensors to complement existing regulatory air quality monitoring equipment and fill in the spatial and temporal gaps that exist with the traditional networks.
Traditional air quality monitoring technologies, such as federal reference monitors (FRM) are incredibly useful for regulatory purposes. Unfortunately it is not feasible to deploy them at the scale possible with low-cost sensors—the cost of a single reference station can be 10X or even 100X the cost of a low-cost sensor. By embracing Air Quality Monitoring 2.0, air quality managers can deploy dozens or hundreds of low-cost sensors for the cost of a single reference monitoring station.

Traditional FRM Network

In a traditional air quality monitoring network, a sparse network of FRMs collect highly accurate data in order to produce a regional average, often used for regulatory purposes. Traditional networks miss hotspots and local trends.

Air Quality Monitoring 2.0

In Air Quality Monitoring 2.0, air quality managers leverage low-cost sensors to supplement existing FRM networks with high-resolution data that allows them to effectively respond to air pollution, when and where it strikes.

Meet the panelists

Get started today!
  • 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.

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  • 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.