Sign up to newsletter

Pollution mapping: Seeing the air we breathe

Event schedule details

Sunday 30 June

13.00-13.45

Event location details

Lecture Theatre G16

Imperial College London

Book tickets

Speaker: Mark Richards

With certain parts of London breaching annual EU air pollution limits before the end of January, the capital’s air pollution crisis is well documented. But is it really? While there is clearly a problem, there are actually less than 100 air quality measuring sites covering more than 600 square miles of urban sprawl. As a result, pollution monitoring is still not adequate to inform real change, and the resulting ambiguity explains why cities like London rarely face punishment.

Dr Mark Richards is working to improve our city’s air through mobile environmental sensing systems that can rapidly monitor and map pollution. And in a city that is always on the move, Mark believes a similar approach to air sensing could fill in the current gaps and provide the evidence to drive policy. Over the last decade he’s worked on wireless UV sensors for deployment on everything from buses, bikes and cars, to boats, drones and even people’s smart phones, with the aim of recording pollution data in real time at parts per billion levels.

In his talk, Mark Richards will tell the story of this project and his vision for instrumenting the city. He will also look ahead to the task of interpreting this vast, rich data output, whether to redirect traffic in real time or to make recommendations for cyclists or pedestrians looking to reduce their exposure to air pollution, or even to advise on future transport policy development and projects.

This is part of our ‘Spotlight on Science’ talks series. Take a look at the other talks in this series.


This event is free but booking is available to guarantee a place. 
Please arrive ten minutes before the event begins. If you arrive after the event has started, your ticket will be reallocated.
Limited tickets will be available on the day, but we recommend pre-booking to guarantee a place.

To receive important updates make sure you register for the Festival, too.

Event categories

  • Adults
  • Talk