Partners Involved: Pigeon Air Patrol, CISCO, DigitasLBi, Pigeons, Plume Labs
Type of Partnership: Win-Neutral for Public and Planet
Partnership Models: Data Partner
For the Public, the pigeons provide previously inaccessible data on man-made pollution levels. Therefore, monitoring air quality and taking measures to neutralize or decrease environmental offense, are not enriching the Planet in a win-win partnership.
As the city of London grapples with air pollution, one program involving the Internet of Things (IoT) and pigeons took flight in a big way. The city has a number of met stations that provide very exact readings, but they are in fixed places, so they cannot track air as it travels. Since people cannot see the toxins in the air, it is harder to get them to react to it.
The city of London decided to partner with pigeons to capture data on air pollution, and anyone tweeting their location @PigeonAir would receive information and tips. Ten pigeons were fitted with tiny jackets equipped with sensors, and trained by vets. The Pigeon Air Patrol was released from numerous locations at the height of rush hour every day for a week. For the first time, the sensors measured ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and volatile compounds, giving the public important data on pollution levels.
Since the use of drones is controlled in London, this data would have otherwise been difficult to collect. The birds also crossed London in about half an hour—a fraction of the time it would have taken to cover the same distance at ground level. But perhaps the biggest gain of all was that the campaign went viral and turned air pollution into a top news item.
SDGs Targeted: SDG 3 Health, SDG 13 Climate Action
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