Pollution levels are always changing, and high pollution events are becoming more common in the world. According to Statistics Finland, Finland was showed that the number of households that use cars has increased, there are around 70,000 more households than in 2012. Urbanzee is an air quality data provider. We drive studies around the Cities to provide information on the impact of air pollution in Finland.
As a way of testing our equipment we measured the Shopping Center Skanssi, on the edge of Turku, located next to the highway to Helsinki. We used a backpack with sensors to walk the area to get a detailed view of the air quality, and this second time we specifically walked over the bridge across the highway. Jatka lukemista “Does the highway next to a local shopping mall impacts its air quality?”
One of the areas being developed in Turku is the old Kakola prison. Not only are there many new residential building being constructed, the old prison itself is also being transformed for use by businesses.
In 2008, Turku’s waste-water treatment plant had moved from an outdoor location with open reservoirs, to become situated inside Kakola hill. As new residents might be concerned about the long chimney that is evidence of the presence of the plant, UrbanZee measured the area for the first time.
Jatka lukemista “Second real-estate property measured: Old Kakola prison”
Driving or walking around to measure an area or even a whole city works beautifully as we discovered previously. While that gives us the right amount of control over what and how much we measure an area, it can also be costly. For that reason we explored measuring air quality of a whole city using a food delivery service. Jatka lukemista “Ways of measuring: food delivery vehicles”
With the test we had done before, we now have a better understanding on how to perform city-wide measurements. Yesterday, we performed our second run measuring a large part of Turku in detail. The results are not as surprising as from our first city-wide test, but still interesting. As expected most of Turku is very clean, and the usual areas with more traffic show up as having pollution. Jatka lukemista “Turku measured in detail for the second time”
Many shopping malls tend be located near highways as that makes them much more accessible and as they are often further away from a city due to lower real-estate prices. As they are located near a highway, would they also see more pollution?
Jatka lukemista “Shopping mall next to a highway: Skanssi”
With the capability of being able to walk around to measure individual buildings, we decided to use Turku castle, which is a well known location in Turku. The castle is also located next to the harbour, which sees both freight as well as large cruise ships on a daily basis. As ships use a different type of fuel than cars do, and are of course larger, it is expected that the air quality at the harbour might not always be ideal. Jatka lukemista “First real-estate property measured: Turku castle”
Measuring whole cities involves thinking about deploying sensors and being clever about how to measure so that the costs are still manageable. Jatka lukemista “Ways of measuring: car and backpack mount”
Measuring the air-pollution of entire cities in detail sounds harder than it is. It just requires some sensor tech, a way to retrieve and store data and a good method of deploying sensors. It took us longer than expected to get to this point, but we now measured a large part of Turku for the first time. Jatka lukemista “Turku measured in detail for the first time”
A report from WHO (World Health Organisation) states that air pollution is responsible for 7 million deaths around the world every year.
Pollution has become the greatest environmental health risk contributing to one of every eight deaths. Outdoor pollution contributes to 3,7 million deaths (80 % being related to strokes and heart diseases). Jatka lukemista “Did you know – every year 7 million people die because of air pollution?”
Over 2.1 billion people worldwide, or 53% of the world population, live in one of the 1022 urban areas around the world that have more than half a million inhabitants.
All this concentrated economic activity generates a burden on our environment, which is something that our global communities are trying to address, as seen in hard-won agreements such as the Copenhagen Accord in 2009 and the Paris climate agreement in 2016. But we as peoples need to become more involved ourselves. Jatka lukemista “Air quality is a global problem needing local solutions”