Concepts for real-time air-quality monitoring using sensors mounted on bicycles, plus an online platform allowing people to see air pollution levels in an area they may consider moving to, have won the London Climathon.
The Pollupla application - a joint project between environmental data company AMEE and IBM - combines data from house-hunting website Zoopla and the London Air Quality Network. It enables people to eliminate properties they consider buying based on undesirable air quality in the neighbourhood.
The product is still in a prototype stage, but the two partners hope to make it available to users in the near future. There is no doubt the platform could have an effect on property prices in heavily polluted areas and the firms believe that putting pressure on house owners would make the struggle against air pollution more efficient.
Airbike won thanks to a sensor system that attaches to bicycles and gathers air quality data, providing a real-time picture of the city's air quality.
London Climathon, which took place last week, saw entrepreneurs, students and policy makers working together to find new solutions to local climate change problems ranging from sea-level rise to the conservation of biodiversity.
The competition, organised by Climate-KIC, the Greater London Authority, the Liebreich Foundation and Energy Unlocked, was part of a global initiative that took place simultaneously in six cities around the world: London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Washington, Wellington and New Delhi.
The two best concepts from each city will receive coaching and mentoring and will have the opportunity to present their projects at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year.The London competition focused on several areas, including electricity consumption.
UK Power Networks released residential electricity consumption data from thousands of households to the researchers as part of the project, to help find ways to shift or reduce the electricity demand of Londoners.
“This is the best data available on electricity consumption and we’ve made it public for the first time via the London Datastore,” said Michael Clark, project director for Low Carbon London at UK Power Networks. “It offers the clearest insight yet into residential electricity consumption in our capital.”