The University of Leeds Living Lab for Air Quality launched in November 2017 and aims to use our improved knowledge of air quality to help shape and inform our Landscape Strategy and Travel Plan. It will drive projects that reduce emissions from vehicles and limit exposure to poor air quality. The project has a number of elements and you can find out more details on each in the sections below.
The Living Lab for Air Quality is a collaboration between the Sustainability Service, the School of Earth & Environment, the Institute for Climate & Atmospheric Science (ICAS), the Institute for Transport Studies and the School of Civil Engineering, and we’re working on collaborating with more disciplines too.
Campus Air Quality Monitoring
This element of the project is a twelve-month monitoring programme gathering, analysing and mapping air quality in and around the University of Leeds. Staff and student volunteers are heading out to try their hand at measuring particulate matter around three set routes across campus.
The data we collect is uploaded to the website of The Centre of Excellence for Modelling the Atmosphere and Climate (CEMAC) so that it is accessible to staff, students and those external to the University for research and teaching purposes, or simply for interest. An example of what the data looks like once it is mapped can be seen below. The most recent data map can be found here and you can access all of the maps created to date here. We increased the number of air quality monitors from 2 to 4 monitors over the course of the project.
Commuter Exposure Research
As part of the Living Lab for Air Quality project we will be researching pollution exposure on our key staff and student commuter routes. Volunteers will carry monitoring equipment with them whilst they drive, cycle, walk or sit on public transport so that we can compare how much pollution we are exposed to using different routes and transport methods.
We are still developing several areas of this research but the project will get under way soon as part of two student dissertations. Marie Godward (MSc Transport Planning & the Environment) and Hao Wu (MSc Transport Studies & Engineering) will begin research and analysis of commuter exposure along the key routes from Headingley into the University campus in Spring 2018. As soon as we have findings and information we will share them here.
For further information in the mean time please contact Thom Cooper in the Sustainability Service.