Air pollution can now be measured locally


Air pollution, mainly from local sources such as stoves and road traffic, costs 28 premature deaths and 33,000 sick days a year, as well as a number of hospital admissions of children and adults, in Copenhagen.

Copenhagen Municipality have tested a new type of sensor which makes it possible to measure air quality completely locally and which, moreover, is considerably cheaper than technologies used so far. The purpose of enabling more local measurements is creating a more detailed picture of air quality that reflects the realities of the city.

Evidence-based foundation for urban development
The monitoring of air quality in Copenhagen is today based on the collection of data from three monitoring stations, which form part of a calculated model of air quality along with random tests of traffic numbers. Since 2016, CSL has worked with a start-up company to test small and affordable sensors for measuring air quality which can supplement measurements from existing stations. These sensors can be moved around the city quickly and easily as needed, and therefore enable very local measurements of air quality. The results of the measurements are calibrated to the EU-approved air measuring station on H.C. Andersens Boulevard.

With data from the new sensors, we can now account for the very significant variations in air quality, for example when planning the construction of new schools or kindergartens. Politicians and departments will thus have a much more evidence-based foundation for making decisions about local priorities.

"The collaboration with Copenhagen Solutions Lab and through them, Copenhagen Municipality, has provided us with valuable knowledge for the further development of CPH Sense. We want to continuously improve the quality of data and our software solutions, and it has therefore been important for us to test CPH Sense in a live lab that reflected the streets of Copenhagen."
CEO of Leapcraft, Vinay Venkatraman

Because of the collaboration with Copenhagen Municipality, the company was able to create a competitive product that also supports Copenhagen Municipality’s aims of sustainable urbanization. Today, the sensor is being exported to Norway, Mexico, Austria, Greece and the United States.

The new sensors are a tool in an EU project, for which CM has just received funds. It will be possible to examine the correlation between optimisation of traffic lights with real air pollution levels at a level of 450,000 DKK, as the cost of renting these sensors is minimal.