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How can space help to improve air quality?

Innovative solutions to tackle urban air pollution will be explored at an online seminar to be held on Thursday 19 November.

Many cities that faced tight restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic have experienced enhanced air quality.

As people prepare to return to work once again, representatives of the cities of Paris and Los Angeles will explain how space can be used to improve urban air quality.

Air pollution is monitored from space using Earth observation satellites equipped with sensors that can detect different types of pollution.

Entrepreneurs on Earth have used this data to create apps that warn people when air quality is poor, so that joggers can take informed decisions on when they might want to go for a run, for example.

Highly localised information gleaned from space can enable city planners to determine on which bus routes electric vehicles should be introduced.

Some companies are also using forecasts of air quality to warn city officials of impending problems.

Speakers at the event include:

  • Romain Basthiste, Deputy Head of the Air Quality Department in the Municipality of Paris
  • Jeanne Holm, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation in the City of Los Angeles
  • Massimiliano Ferrante, ESA engineer
  • Robert Meisner, ESA Communications Programme Officer for Earth Observation
  • Roberta Mugellesi Dow, ESA Business Applications Department

The discussion will be chaired by Donatella Ponziani, Downstream Gateway Officer at ESA.

“Air quality” will take place at 16:00 CET on 19 November and will be screened live on  ESA Web TV.

You can pose questions during the hour-long webinar using the hashtag #AskESA on social media.

This is the second webinar in a series of five taking place in November and December that are being organised by ESA’s Downstream Gateway department.

Three further webinars are scheduled:

  • 26 November at 17:00 CET “Urban planning”
  • 10 December at 17:00 CET “Cultural heritage”
  • 15 December at 17:00 CET “Smart mobility”

Source: Esa

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