The growth of urban air pollution is one of the most serious indicators of the impact of global urbanization on the environment and human health. The rapid urbanization, with the associated economic and population growth, has led to increases in vehicle use, industrial activity and energy consumption that have raised urban air pollution to critical levels, according to the data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

To fully understand and improved air quality conditions, pollutants must be accurately measured, monitored and managed. Currently, most cities monitor the quality of the air using a collection of large environmental monitoring stations. In this sense, recent advances in sensor and communication technologies have led to smaller, cheaper and more localized monitoring solutions. This use of lower-cost sensor nodes with wireless communication systems is filling the gaps left by legacy environmental monitoring stations.

As a supplement to traditional measurement stations, there are the sensors networks, for example, the air quality Internet of Things network deployed in Helsinki (Finland), installed alongside existing air pollution monitoring stations. Networks allow the generation of new air quality maps, predictive air quality models, and open data and the provision of information to residents of at-risk areas. Sensor networks are also evolving to mobile solutions. For example, some projects work on the attachment of sensors to moving objects such as cars and vans looking to provide insight on how air quality differs from street to street within cities.

Main stakeholders doing R&D: BreezoMeter, Libelium, eLichens, Green City Solutions

Main stakeholders in the market: BreezoMeter, Libelium, eLichens, Green City Solutions