Forecasting Air Quality in Cities: Moving Effortlessly from Monitoring to Management

Forecasting Air Quality in Cities: Moving Effortlessly from Monitoring to Management
Environmental and Public Health Protection
Weather & Environment

Forecasting Air Quality in Cities: Moving Effortlessly from Monitoring to Management

More than 75% of global energy consumption and carbon emissions originate in cities — a number that puts plenty of pressure on them to improve air quality and residents’ well-being. Cleaner air isn’t just more pleasant: It can save millions of lives and billions in costs.

Community leaders and environmental protection agencies (EPAs) are working to make our cities more breathable and sustainable through air pollution mitigation strategies. However, weather conditions, urban landscapes and other factors have made measurements a moving target which makes mitigation difficult to target and track.

Accurate, highly localized air quality data and tools are the keys to improving the air and protecting communities. Modern technology has finally caught up with air quality management goals, and the solution takes less effort and costs than you might think.

Refining data into forecasts

Cities have invested in building networks of air quality monitoring stations, which provide accurate air pollution data, but are expensive. Some cities have also complemented the stations with compact air quality sensors and all-in-one weather sensors to get hyperlocal weather data to fill the gaps in air quality station networks.

To be able to provide actionable insights to the residents of cities, historical data isn't enough. Recently introduced, Vaisala Air Quality Forecast empowers decision makers to take actions to decrease air pollution, and inform citizens to make right choices in their daily lives regarding the air quality. The end-to-end solution combines modern dispersion modeling techniques, data fusion algorithms and statistical approaches. The result is a comprehensive, exceptionally accurate picture of local air quality conditions with 15-meter resolution — now and over the next three days.

Getting started with proactive air quality intelligence

A city's existing reference station data and other current data sources are all that’s needed to integrate air quality forecasting. Local observations can be added with high-quality air quality transmitters and compact air quality and weather stations.

Once deployed, city planners, EPAs and similar organizations can use the insights to make informed decisions such as tracking the effectiveness of air pollution mitigation, acting on an immediate air quality hazard to citizens, and even guiding future infrastructure planning such as traffic control, community parks, and hospital development.

Air pollution is a serious challenge, having major health consequences on a large scale. Regardless of the severity of the problem, preventive air quality management can turn the trend and make all of our cities better places to live and breathe.

With Vaisala’s exceptional products grounded in science and innovation, communities can now combine enhanced air quality measurements with weather intelligence for the complete package. The right access to the right information allows people to connect deeper to their environment and new ways of thinking about business and community.