Kitchener studying air quality and impact of growth

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

A research team has installed air-quality monitoring systems as part of a  research project with the City of Kitchener, Wilfrid Laurier University and Hemmera Envirochem Inc. The project will collect real-time air pollution data for the city’s Corporate Climate Action Plan.

“The World Health Organization’s newly released air pollution guidelines show us just how important air quality concerns are for big cities across the globe,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic.

“As the City of Kitchener continues to grow, emissions from vehicles and buildings reduce our air quality and take a toll on the health of our community. This innovative air quality project and partnership is one way we’re working to protect residents from harmful emissions.”

Hind Al-Abadleh, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University received funding for the pilot program from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and added research funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Exceptional Opportunities Fund (CFI-EOF).

Air quality pods were installed near four local schools and Victoria Park to collect several different data points at 15-minute intervals.

“We are collecting real-time air quality data near schools throughout the academic year and quieter summer season,” said Courtney Zinn, innovation lab director for the City of Kitchener. “We are looking to measure how air quality is affected by passing vehicles and other pollutants.”

dashboard  shows data collected from each pod and results are available through the city’s open data portal.

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