Smart city tech could help tackle air pollution in Hull

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 1 Aug 2018

Hull’s smart city vision could be used to improve peoples’ health and reduce the risk of conditions such as asthma and progressive lung diseases.

That is the vision of Hull entrepreneur Robin Harris, who believes the city’s single network would enable air pollution levels to be analysed in far more detail.

People across Hull would be able to buy a sensor for as little as £15, and see what the air quality is like where they live.

The data could also reveal the impact places such as schools have at peak times, when traffic is heavily increased.

Mr Harris said, who is working with the city’s C4DI on the scheme, said: “I think we can attract a lot of interest and say, how can we, the people, do something using technology which can make our lives better?

“We all breathe air to live. It is not something we have any choice in. The government does a reasonably good job of monitoring pollution levels on a national level, and releasing averages.

“If I am walking my five-year-old grandson to school though, I want to know what the air pollution is like at the moment, in that place.”

The concept is not a new one, Mr Harris was quick to point out.

In Stuttgart, Germany, the idea has been made into a reality, and is being rolled out to other cities.

Once people in Hull are able to use sensors to monitor air pollution where they live, the data can then be collated to provide a clearer picture for the whole city.

Mr Harris said it could also have benefits to those living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“People have been looking for explanations as to why more people are suffering from those conditions,” he said.

“Health is a big concern, and transport could be one of the major factors.

“This is a big opportunity for tech-minded companies to show what they can do, and contribute to a project which is in the community’s interest.”

Mr Harris is now on the hunt for businesses in and around Hull who would be interested in supporting the concept.

If his vision becomes a reality, the technology could have a huge impact on health and wellbeing in Hull.

It could shed light on the main areas and causes of air pollution, and how the city can work together to reduce it.

“We all live and breathe in Hull, and this project is about making it a better place to live,” Mr Harris said.

The idea of transforming Hull into a smart city stretches further than pollution.

One network could control everything from traffic lights and bridges to waste bins and garages, allowing a greater control and monitoring of major infrastructure in Hull.

You can get in touch with Mr Harris via email at

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