we warmly invite you to introduce yourself here.
A few introductory words for Lars Gidhagen:
I’m an air quality consultant / researcher, living halftime in Norrköping, Sweden and in Barcelona. I’ve been working with urban air quality since 1990, in support to cities, regions and countries in Europe and South America. My coupling to Air for All is as technical adviser to the Air Quality Organization of Västmanland, one of the three project counterparts.
Although my principal contacts are found among authorities and industries, I find it important to engage citizens in the air quality work. One specific objective is the strong health impact of air pollution on cities’ population and that it is important for citizens to learn about the topic and which actions can be made to improve air quality. Citizens may also bring important information to the organizations responsible for the air quality management and formulation of policies towards a cleaner air to breathe. Moreover, citizens with good knowledge of the topic may also contribute to a stronger pressure on politicians to decide on effective measures.
In my opinion every city should have a knowledge of the current distribution of different air pollutants, so that so called hot spots can be identified and mitigated. As traditional air quality monitoring networks are costly to operate, it is not possible to install stations in every potential hot spot. Here citizens may support the responsible authorities by installing more simpler low-cost sensors, thus generating concentration measurements with a higher spatial resolution. However, they must be installed and operated in such a way that the information can be used together with the traditional monitoring network data.
Citizens may also support the air quality management in a city by reporting activities that generate air pollution, e.g., dense traffic, combustion of wood, waste, etc or industrial diffuse emissions. By using emission factors and dispersion models, it is possible to convert reported activities to air pollution concentrations. Thus, every larger city should have as an ambition to elaborate an emission inventory so that model simulated air quality can complement the measurements that are made in a limited number of locations.
Thus, my hope is that the Air for All platform may contribute to a more intensive cooperation between citizens and the authorities/organizations responsible for assuring a good quality in the city. For citizens in cities without a clear or competent institution for air quality management, there are possibilities for citizens to use the platform to find information on procedures and techniques to determine if air quality in a their city may constitute a threat to their health and also, if necessary, which actions that can be taken to reduce the air pollution.
Great to be having your wealth of experience here Sir. @lars.gidhagen