Aclima and Google Now Measuring Air Pollution and GHGs Block by Block in Hamburg

2 min read
September 29 2021

Together with the City Science Lab of the Hafencity University Hamburg (HCU) and a working group from the City of Hamburg, Project Air View has launched in Germany. Just a few days before the 20th birthday of Google Germany, a Project Air View car equipped with the Aclima mobile sensing platform has begun measurement and analysis of air pollution and greenhouse gases block by block in Hamburg.

For about a year, the Project Air View team will be driving an electric car, a Jaguar I-Pace, in central areas of Hamburg. The car is equipped with the Aclima mobile air monitoring platform, which measures and analyzes pollutants including nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxide (NO), carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone (O3), block by block, using an air intake on the side of the vehicle to continuously sample the air as the vehicle moves through city streets.

Once validated, aggregated, and analyzed, this data can be applied for scientific research into the impacts of urban emissions on hyperlocal air quality, to inform sustainable city and transportation planning, and to better understand local levels of climate-changing emissions as cities work toward emissions reductions as part of their climate action plans.

This work builds on years of collaboration between Google and Aclima, including the release of a massive hyperlocal air quality dataset last year to the research community. Research using this data has led to many discoveries including two recent reports:

  • A study published in the September 14, 2021 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) led by Dr. Sarah Chambliss from the University of Texas at Austin examines how the variability in ambient air pollutant levels at local and regional scales correlates with the racial and ethnic demographics of the people who live within and across four counties in the San Francisco Bay Area. For Hispanic and Black populations, median concentrations of UFP, NO, and NO2 were 8%-30% higher than the population average.
  • Combining hyperlocal air quality data with sociodemographic indicators, researchers evaluated a framework for equitable transportation system electrification in the City of Oakland, CA that prioritizes interventions and incentives, while supporting emissions reductions and environmental justice. 

If you’re a scientist interested in accessing Google and Aclima research data please apply here.

To learn more about the mobile air quality mapping research and global scaling partnership between Aclima and Google please go here.