AirKit is a toolkit that allows citizens to sense air pollution, gather observations, and communicate stories and proposals for improving air quality. Developed from 2019 to 2021, AirKit builds on longstanding Citizen Sense research to provide a comprehensive citizen-sensing toolkit for monitoring air quality.
AirKit consists of four components, including 1) an AirKit Logbook with instructions for setting up air-quality monitoring projects, 2) a Dustbox 2.0 monitor for sensing particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), 3) an Airsift platform for analyzing citizen data, and 4) a Data Stories tool for communicating findings and organizing proposals for action.
The Citizen Sense project team worked with participants in Forest Hill, London, to test and develop the AirKit. We identified sites for setting up monitors, tested different data analysis platforms, created the Airsift platform to allow for citizen data analysis, and held meetings and a workshop to discuss results and possibilities for further action. As part of this process, we developed Covid Data Stories that document how we tested the AirKit with communities.
Funded through an ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) grant, this project proposes new strategies of citizen-led monitoring and data analysis. The AirKit offers an inventive approach to creating technologies that emphasize the social and more-than-technical aspects of community monitoring infrastructures and practices.
The AirKit project identifies and develops opportunities for realizing the social potential of technologies for citizen-led air quality monitoring. While many air-quality monitoring projects focus on technical innovation, the Citizen Sense research team has developed the AirKit toolkit to facilitate social, environmental, and technical inventiveness. The toolkit focuses on strengthening connections to ongoing environmental projects, supporting communities to set up air quality projects, and mobilizing citizen data to build less polluting environments.
AirKit is available through a Creative Commons license that allows you to share, adapt, and build on the technology for non-commercial purposes CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
The toolkit continues to grow and adapt through ongoing testing. Contact us if you would like to share your experiences while testing the AirKit.