Connected Communities for Clean Air

We are very proud to have been awarded a prestigious grant to help tackle air pollution in Southampton! The ‘Sniffy’ project will help drive community action for clean air by using citizen science and the power of individuals and communities to create change.

The Southampton Collective is one of 16 organisations selected to take part in the Connected Communities Innovation Fund. This a partnership between Nesta and the Office for Civil Society at DCMS, providing up to £2.7 million in grants, alongside significant non-financial support, to the best innovations that mobilise people’s time and talents.

The ‘Sniffy’ project is a joint initiative between The Southampton Collective and Solent Air Watch. We will be installing ‘Sniffy’ air pollution sensors in a number of locations across the city, running community events to understand neighbourhood air quality issues, and encouraging individuals and policymakers to take collective action against dirty air.

If you’re interested in getting involved or just want to find out more please drop us a line: info@solentairwatch.co.uk

The team
Mandi Bissett, Director of The Southampton Collective, said,

I’m really excited to be part of this grassroots project to clean up our air. Air pollution is a serious public health challenge, not just an environmental issue and some people are more vulnerable to its effects than others. The eldest and youngest members of our communities, those with existing health problems and people living next to a busy main road are likely to see a greater impact on their health from dirty air.”

Mandi has been working as Policy Lead for local campaign group Clean Air Southampton, most recently running the local elections hustings – ‘Question Time: Air Quality Matters‘ – which focused on how our local politicians plan to tackle air pollution.

Josh Taylor, Founder of Solent Air Watch, said,

This funding will allow us to develop the project by installing a number of real-time sensors in Southampton so that communities can better understand and propose solutions to air pollution in their neighbourhoods. However, monitoring air quality is just the starting point of the project – we firmly believe that the challenge of dirty air needs community solutions, not just technological ones.”

Josh Taylor is a PhD candidate at the University of Southampton who has developed the open source air pollution monitor called ‘Sniffy’ and will lead innovation and community events to develop solutions for localised pollution. He is also developing a real-time pollution map of Southampton.

Tackling air pollution can be a way to re-connect our communities and create a more liveable city for us all.

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