How air quality is a major concern for cities around the world

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Urban pollution (seen here in Guangzhou, China) is a global issue in various cities. Photo: AFP

The IoT analysis firm, Berg Insight, reports that the number of urban air quality monitoring devices is forecast to increase from 73, 000 units in 2020 to 315, 000 by 2025. This serves as further evidence of the growing awareness in cities about limiting pollution and the need to monitor pollution in order to aspire to overcome it.

Berg Insight clarifies that: "This number refers to any type of networked outdoor air quality monitoring device that in some way is used for supplementary air quality monitoring purposes in cities and communities. Traditional regulatory monitoring stations and devices intended for personal use only are thus not included."

The analyst also explains the trend by the fact that air quality monitoring devices are increasingly small, blend seamlessly into the decor, and are progressively getting cheaper.

The more of the devices that are installed, the more it becomes possible to analyse the quality of the air breathed, neighbourhood by neighbourhood, and to track its evolution over time before taking action to remedy it. In fact, the installation of these devices is significant, as air quality data is often used to inform decisions that have an impact on people's health and wellbeing.

Smart cities are paying increasing attention to the air quality of urban residents, and the phenomenon is global. Cities in Europe, North America and China are adopting these measurement systems en masse.

While such devices are proliferating, there is still a lack of official standards and certification. Therefore, Levi Ostling, smart cities analyst at Berg Insight warns: "If too many cities hastily adopt solutions that turn out to be of poor quality, the industry is at risk of inducing a general mistrust in low-cost air quality sensing technology – a hurdle that could be difficult to overcome once established." – AFP Relaxnews

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