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Image Source: Damon Nofar
Rebecca Wayman

The Mayor of London collaborates with Alan Turing Institute for better London air

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has started a two-year collaboration with the Alan Turing Institute to explore ways to improve how air quality is modelled in London by collating existing and new data sources, then enhancing the way it is analysed.

The work with the Alan Turing Institute should complement the Mayor’s existing work with other major London institutions, such as King’s College London and City Hall.

The Mayor’s chief digital officer, Theo Blackwell, said: “Working with the Alan Turing Institute will continue our efforts to harness London’s world-class strengths in data science and innovation to clean up the air we breathe to make life better for all Londoners.”

The collaboration is taking place as part of the Turing-Lloyd’s Register Foundation programme in data-centric engineering, which aims to use data science to transform the safety and efficiency of complex infrastructure systems.

Currently, there are approximately 100 large air quality monitoring stations in London active at any time.

Researchers will work with City Hall to develop models that will enable better air quality forecasting and modelling, which could inform policy to make targeted interventions that reduce the levels of pollution in key areas and at key times.

Recent research has revealed 7.9m Londoners live in areas exceeding World Health Organization air quality guidelines.

This new collaboration forms part of Sadiq’s hard-hitting plans to tackle London’s toxic air quality and comes just three days before the launch of the his new Toxicity Charge, which will help to remove more polluting vehicles from central London.

When it is introduced on Monday October 23, the T-Charge will supposedly be the toughest emission standard of any city in the world, where the vast majority of pre-2006 vehicles will need to pay an additional £10 Emissions Surcharge to travel in the central London Congestion Charge zone.

Theo Damoulas, turing fellow and assistant professor of Data Science at the University of Warwick, said: “We are very excited to be working closely with City Hall and bringing our data science expertise to bear on such an important matter for the life of Londoners.”

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