AirCareLA, an Air Quality Education Pilot
City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Street Lighting
Deploy 150 air quality sensors on streetlights Citywide to provide environmental data at a local level in order to evaluate the disparity of air quality among communities & impacting factors.
What does your organization do?
The City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Street Lighting provides illumination for the safety of vehicular/pedestrian traffic, and is a key vertical infrastructure participant for Smart City initiatives.
Please describe the activation your organization seeks to launch.
The City of LA seeks to use its streetlights to initiate discussions about air quality at local community level. Funding will enable the City to manage an Air Quality Data Collection Pilot that will provide valuable information regarding local air quality. The data can inform communities about impacts that may be contributing to their livability & health. This will incentivize communities to become engaged in policy decisions: reducing traffic, encouraging walking/biking, zoning decisions.
Which of the live metrics will your activation impact?
- Exposure to air toxins
- Prevalence of adverse childhood experiences
Will your proposal impact any other LA2050 goal categories?
- LA is the best place to PLAY
In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- City of Los Angeles
How will your activation mobilize Angelenos?
- Advocate for policy
- Encourage businesses to change practices
- Influence individual behavior
Describe in greater detail how your activation will make LA the best place to live?
Los Angeles has some of the most polluted air in the nation. The trend over the last 25 years has shown significant improvements in smog and pollutants until recently. In the last couple of years this trend has shown an increase in the pollutants. Air quality information from the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Resources Board has been invaluable to identify the most highly-impacted communities statewide — many of which are found in Los Angeles — and thus provide a warning for those that are particularly sensitive to the health hazards of air pollution such as asthmatics, young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems but does not provide this information at a community level.
This proposal will provide local air quality information directly to the City policy makers, as we are currently reliant on information provided to us by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). SCAQMD inspectors are spread far and wide, and required to cover the entire Southland. It would be a tremendous advantage to have access to our own air quality data within the 500 square miles that constitutes the City of Los Angeles. This could lead to development of our own air quality polices, and ultimately programs designed to mitigate the harmful effects of our residents.
Additionally, this will give residents a sense of ownership and responsibility for their communities and their destiny. Air quality is impacted by large issues such as car emissions, but can also be impacted at a local level due to traffic patterns, zoning, industrial uses, and the number of vegetation and trees that are present. This information will allow the City and those communities that partner with this proposal to observe the disparities in communities and attempt to link them to specific contributing factors.
The data gathered will become available on the City’s open data portal so the public is informed. In addition, this project has the potential to develop and place air quality sensors “beacons” that will provide an instantaneous visual indication of the current air quality in the local area.
How will your activation engage Angelenos to make LA the best place to live
Local air quality data will enable City policy makers to engage residents in an effort to make differences at the municipal level by developing programs that will mitigate air quality impacts. Current air quality sensors are not locally based, so communities do not feel they have the power or control to impact air quality.
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your activation.
The program will measure success by completion of the following metrics:
The completed deployment of the air quality sensors and transmission of data.
The establishment of a public education program based on the air quality data which is accumulated
and the development of new community-based programs with the goal of mitigating the harmful effects of air pollution.
Where do you hope this activation or your organization will be in five years?
We hope that as Smart City technology evolves, the use of sensors on streetlights will grow and enable data collection regarding various interests. This will provide real time data to the community and public officials, enabling policy direction and the enhancements to improve the livability for all residents in the City of Los Angeles.
UCLA Center for Health Services and Society
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