Air PollutionAir QualityNetwork Air Quality Monitoring in a Smart City Model

We come across the phrase ‘smart city’ a lot nowadays. How can a city be smart? What are the attributes of a smart city? What is the importance of air quality monitoring? How will the air quality monitoring in a smart city appear? Read more to find out.

The emerging need for transition

Cities hold the key to urbanization. They are the fuel that drives the engine of the economy and development of any nation. A considerable share in the GDP comes from the cities, especially in developing countries such as India, where the urban population contributes 63% of the GDP (Census, 2011). This share will increase to 75% by 2030. Some recent studies project a rise in the population dwelling in the cities from 31% to 60%. This paradigm shift requires the parallel development of physical, social, economic, and institutional infrastructure. It is necessary to attract people and sustain the increasing density and complement the advancements in technology.

What is a smart city?

The transition of traditional cities into smart cities was gradual. The idea of smart cities did not emerge until the late 1990s. The concept is still evolving. There is no concrete way to limit it into a definition. A smart city is a technology-intensive urban area that integrates Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into the city’s governance and management system. It ensures transparent, secure, and efficient public services. A smart city is connected by a self-reliant network of Internet of Things (IoT) to collect, process, and analyze data. Sensors are installed into real-time monitoring systems to create an uninterrupted and direct flow of information between the officials and the community. This interaction is vital for a better quality of life and efficient monitoring.

Elements of a Smart City?

A smart city is both inclusive and conservatory in nature. It increases the liveability quotient and happiness index of a city. The concept of a smart city revolves around four As:

  • Availability
  • Accessibility
  • Affordability
  • Accountability

Four As of a Smart City

The core elements of a smart city are:

  • Smart Citizen
  • Green Buildings
  • Sustainable Infrastructure
  • Smart Health Care
  • E-Governance
  • Smart Technology
  • Clean and Smart Energy
  • Smart Education
  • Smart Mobility

The prime structure of a smart city plan would include-

  • Adequate Water Supply
  • Clean and breathable air
  • 24*7 supply of clean energy
  • Efficient waste management system
  • Efficient urban mobility and public transport
  • Affordable housing
  • Robust connectivity and digitization
  • Sustainable Environment
  • Safety and Security of all citizens
  • Just and transparent judicial system
  • Accessible health and educational services
  • Good governance
  • Public-Private Partnership (PPP) models

Importance of Air Quality Monitoring in a Smart City

Air is an invisible elixir to live on the planet. We cannot see it, but it is crucial to us living creatures. Thus, it is indispensable that what we breathe is free from pollutants. Provided the increasing urbanization, the problem of air pollution prevails as one of the top troublemakers. Severe Air Quality has a conspicuous influence on morbidity and mortality. It also affects the environment and ecology adversely. For this reason, agencies cite air pollution as one of the major killers on the earth. As per the World Health Organization, air pollution kills an estimated seven million people worldwide every year. 9 out of 10 people breathe air that exceeds  the limits set by the organization.

Air Quality Forecasting, monitoring, and maintenance are chief aspects of a smart city model. Real-time analysis of indoor and outdoor contaminants of air ensures that we are aware of what we are inhaling. It also enables the researchers to do immediate data analysis and help the policy-makers to draft an efficient action plan to mitigate the negative impact.

How we envision Smart Air Quality Monitoring

Our prime objective is to provide cost-effective access to air quality data to every citizen of the city, integrated with an accountable solution-mapping ability.