Partnership with Google on measuring air pollution in Copenhagen

Copenhagen Solutions Lab

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Copenhagen Solutions Lab is the City of Copenhagen’s incubator for smart city initiatives. Through cross-sector partnerships we explore the ways the utilization of big data, new technologies and a digital infrastructure can contribute to the overall goal of Copenhagen being a green, safe, clean and liveable city.

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A new partnership with Google allows measurements of air pollution in Copenhagen street by street. The partnership supports the City Council’s focus on air quality in Copenhagen and creates new opportunities for emissions and particulate pollution initiatives.

The air pollution in Copenhagen annually costs the society DKK 4 billion and has major human consequences such as several sick days, hospital admissions and approx. 550 premature deaths each year.

Copenhageners have a strong desire to be able to breathe without worrying about getting sick of the air they breathe as they move around the city. In a survey from 2018 66 percent of Copenhageners said that clean air is important or crucial to how attractive the city is.

Since 2016, Copenhagen Solutions Lab has therefore been working to establish a coherent data base for air pollution in Copenhagen that can form for the basis for policy development.

A clear example of this work is Copenhagen Solutions Lab’s partnership with Google on measuring air pollution in the streets of Copenhagen. Google’s Street View cars drive around the city of Copenhagen with advanced air metering equipment, thus giving new insight into the extent of local air pollution street by street. Google’s measurements complement current measurements of NOx and ultrafine particles from 3 stationary measuring stations in Copenhagen.

The knowledge generated from the partnership will provide the politicians with new insight upon which they can develop public policy that addresses a problem with big economic and health-related consequences

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