Love is in the air – but that’s not all.
Love and air pollution – do they have anything in common? Maybe not at first glance, but that’s exactly the point. They are invisible. Long touted the city of love, Paris and other cities in France have been facing illegal levels of air pollution levels for years, and the government has given itself a deadline in March 2018 to come up with a plan. One of the first orders of business when tackling any problem is defining the problem, and understanding what issues need to be addressed. In order to address the dangerous levels of air pollution in France, the government must know what is causing the pollution, why and how.
Air pollution is a hot topic in France right now, and is “believed to be the main cause of some 48,000 deaths each year. Over 47 million French people are exposed to a level of these particles that is considered to be unsafe by the WHO.”
Air Quality Monitoring Stations – Limitations
Governments tend to rely on monitoring stations strategically positioned throughout the country, usually concentrated in areas of dense populations – which makes sense. However, huge swaths of France do not have air quality monitoring stations. The idea of adding smaller commercial sensors to address the issue of limited data has come up, but since they are not governmental, their data is not approved. Even where there are stations, the data available to the cities is not intuitive or real-time, as it can take a long time to collect and analyse. Once a problem is discovered, it is already too late to prevent it, and the pollution has likely already moved elsewhere. Accessing historical data can be even more costly, time-consuming and problematic. There is not an option for forecasting.
BreezoMeter is able to predict with very high accuracy the current air quality using algorithms that collect data from the existing governmental monitoring stations, satellites, weather and traffic information. Air quality is dynamic and changes throughout the day, and also depends on specific location. Even if a monitoring station is “only” 10km away, the air quality there might not be similar to where you actually are. For example, standing on a busy traffic corridor versus walking along a side street 200 meters away can make a huge difference in the levels of pollutants you are exposed to. BreezoMeter’s four-day forecast also gives municipalities the valuable opportunity to take preventative measures, not just retrospective actions which are likely less effective, such as stopping cars from entering highly polluted areas and city centers after the pollution levels are already at dangerous levels.
The French government is working hard to make a plan to combat the air pollution problem in order to better protect its citizens. There are at least two sides to dealing with air pollution, in France and anywhere. One is reducing the problem, which is not simple at all, and the second is reducing people’s exposure, which actually can be quite straightforward. In order to reduce exposure, you need to know where and when the air quality is not good, so you can make smarter decisions. This is where BreezoMeter can make a large impact in the lives of billions of people worldwide. When companies and governments harness BreezoMeter’s smart, accurate and informative API for air quality data, they have the power to positively influence billions of people’s health, by informing them what simple steps to take, like which park has cleaner air right now, or whether to close your windows at home and turn on an air purifier.
Governments are working hard to provide air pollution data, and BreezoMeter takes it a step further. Learn about the difference between BreezoMeter and government air quality data.
French Officials Take Note of Smart Solution
The French government is taking note of the opportunity and need to have access to this kind of actionable real-time data. French government officials on an official visit to Israel in October, organized by Tel Aviv’s French Embassy were impressed by the innovative and accurate solution BreezoMeter’s air quality API offers.
BreezoMeter, and a handful of other Israeli Startups related to the concept of building smart cities, like eTree, MoneyTime and ZenCity, presented to visiting French officials, including Valérie Pecresse, President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France; Meyer Habib, Deputy in the French National Assembly (Citizens living abroad); and Florence Berthou, Mayor of 5th Paris District.
The event, French Tech Israel, was not the first time BreezoMeter has pitched to French officials. BreezoMeter has talked before about our cost-effective, service-oriented efficient model for providing governments with air quality data, with Manuel Valls, the Prime Minister of France at the time of the visit.
BreezoMeter in Paris
Take a look at how BreezoMeter was part of a Paris Smart City project, in Place de la Nation