Designer Daan Roosegaarde has installed the “largest smog vacuum cleaner in the world” in Rotterdam to help improve the city’s air quality. The seven-meter-tall structure is designed to create a pocket of clean air in its vicinity, offering a respite from hazardous levels of pollution.
According to the designer, it processes 30,000 cubic meters of air per hour – removing ultra-fine smog particles and pumping out clean air using no more electricity than a water boiler. “The Smog Free Tower produces smog-free bubbles of public space, allowing people to breathe and experience clean air for free,” said a statement from Roosegaarde.
Roosegaarde‘s Smog Free Tower was unveiled on 4 September 2015 at Vierhavensstraat 52, following a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.
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AirCasting is an open-source, end-to-end solution for collecting, displaying, and sharing health and environmental data using your smartphone. The platform consists of wearable sensors that detect changes in your environment and physiology, including a palm-sized air quality monitor called the AirBeam, the AirCasting Android app, the AirCasting website, and wearable LED accessories. By documenting and leveraging health and environmental data to inform personal decision-making and public policy, the AirCasting platform empowers citizen scientists and changemakers.
(Visit AirCasting for more info!)
HabitatMap is a non-profit environmental health justice organization whose goal is to raise awareness about the impact the environment has on human health. Their online mapping and social networking platform is designed to maximize the impact of community voices on city planning and strengthen ties between organizations and activists working to build greener, greater cities. Participants are encouraged to utilizing their shared advocacy platform to:
- Alert the public to environmental health hazards
- Hold polluters accountable for their environmental impacts
- Highlight urban infrastructures that promote healthy living
- Identify future opportunities for sustainable urban development
- Promote policies that enhance equitable access to urban resources
By polluting the environment we end up polluting ourselves in turn. Now, we can measure it and have the ability to share the information globally.
(Above) A look at the PurpleAir Map broadcast of air quality in different city regions of the US.
According to their website, PurpleAir states that they are creating “an air quality monitoring network built on a new generation of Laser particle counters. PurpleAir Sensors use WiFi to report local air quality in real time to the PurpleAir Map.”
As you can see above, the readings range from green (good) to a deep purple (hazardous). Keep in mind that these readings of the AQI (Air Quality Index) are real-time and often can vary between Good and Moderate or Warning and Unhealthy for example. They also provide charts to show the change over hours and days among other information you can check out on their website.
PurpleAir has available to purchase and register your own PA-II Dual Laser Air Quality Sensor to contribute to the data that is being reported real-time through a network of sensors.