What is the relationship between vehicle traffic and air quality? Answering this question was one of the germs of Trafair, a project in which Kunak is collaborating. This European initiative is making it possible, among other things, to show the usefulness of cost-effective emission detectors.
But Trafair is also demonstrating that environmental monitoring systems are also valid for medium-sized cities. Santiago de Compostela (95,000 inhabitants), awarded by Plataforma X Aire Limpio in the second edition of its awards, is there to prove it.
The keys of Trafair Project
Trafair is a project that began in November 2018 and will end in October 2020. Four cities in Italy (Modena, Florence, Pisa and Livorno) and two in Spain (Zaragoza and Santiago de Compostela) are collaborating in its development:
- Academic organizations (Kunak participates through the University of Santiago de Compostela)
- Public administrations
- Regional Internal Supply Companies
- Research Centers
Its main objective is to estimate the level of pollution in an urban area, based on cost-effective emission detectors; and simulations which, taking into account weather forecasts and traffic flow, make it possible to predict air quality.
The combination of these products and services, which stand out for their degree of innovation and their commitment to sustainability, provides information that benefits citizens and facilitates decision-making based on reliable data.
Below is a video summary of the Trafair project:
The work performed by Kunak's air quality sensors
As part of the collaboration with Project Trafair, Kunak has made its Kunak Air A10 technology available to the initiative.
The task of these devices is to complete with reliable data the readings of the 2 reference stations in Santiago de Compostela, the city that, as we said in the introduction, has been rewarded for its efforts to improve air quality.
Why is it important to analyze the relationship between vehicles and air quality?
The relationship between traffic and air quality has become apparent during the confinement. As we pointed out when we analysed the consequences of the health crisis on air quality, as mobility was restricted, pollution decreased.
However, it is the numerous studies that are being carried out that are raising the alarm. For example, recent research from the University of California, Davis, indicates that living next to a road that supports a high density of traffic could contribute to the development of neurological disorders. And other research from George Mason University points out that exposure to emissions during peak hours, even inside cars, could pose a risk to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women.
In short, traffic greatly affects the air quality experienced by city dwellers. Knowing how it evolves throughout the day and the influence of meteorology on the dispersion of pollution is key to developing predictive models that can activate warning protocols in advance. Emission detectors with the best cost/efficiency ratio are proving their usefulness for this type of task. Sometimes, they even come with a prize under the arm.