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IBS Speaker Series: Making Air Quality Count: Low-cost sensors, Public Health and Urban Planning
November 29, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Zoom link: https://cuboulder.zoom.us/j/95260579117 – email email@example.com for password.
Speaker: Priyanka de Souza (CU Denver)
Abstract: In the year 2016 alone, air pollution was responsible for ~ 7 million premature deaths. 90% of these deaths occurred in the Global South. How can countries in the Global South improve air quality? This talk takes a multipronged approach to answer this question. First: air pollution data is critical for the development of effective air quality management plans. Few cities in the Global South have extensive regulatory air pollution monitor networks, and when they do, the data are often not publicly available. This talk proposes novel methodologies to combine data from low-cost sensors and satellite data to estimate air pollution in locations with limited access to regulatory monitors to ‘fill in the gaps’. However, air pollution data is only one piece of the puzzle. In order to convince policy-makers of the urgency of tackling air pollution, this talk also reports the health impacts of air pollution in the African context. Finally, how does data ultimately lead to action? This talk ends by describing what actions air quality measurements have led to in Kenya, and what existing barriers to effective policy actions are
Bio: Priyanka deSouza is an assistant professor at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at CU Denver where she researches how to better integrate concerns about air pollution and climate change into planning healthy cities. She has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MSc in Environmental Change and Management, and an MBA from the University of Oxford where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and a B-Tech and M-Tech in Energy Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.