Cranfield to investigate air quality throughout Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Arc

Scientists keen to understand the effect increased human activity has on air quality now that lockdown is eased
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A team from Cranfield University will be leading a rapid study of air quality throughout the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge Arc.

The study starts at a time when Covid-19 lockdown measures are being eased and the scientists are keen to understand the effect of increased human activity on air quality within the region.

Funding for the study, which is in place until December 2021, is being provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Cranfield UniversityCranfield University
Cranfield University

The Arc has been designated as a key area of economic activity by the Government. One of the ambitions of the Arc is for any growth in the region to have a neutral or even positive gain on the environment. The Cranfield study will be key in understanding how development within the Arc impacts air quality.

The study will utilise Cranfield’s Urban Observatory which harnesses the latest sensor technology and includes environmental and infrastructure sensors to monitor behaviour and factors such as air and noise pollution and water usage.

Professor Neil Harris, professor of atmospheric informatics at Cranfield University, who will lead the study, said: “According to Public Health England, poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the UK.

"The plans for growth within the Arc, to boost the UK economy, are ambitious. Our study will help monitor air quality levels and provide key learning in understanding how we can mitigate the impact of development within the Arc on air quality.”