Google to measure pollution in Copenhagen’s streets

A Google car will tour the streets of Copenhagen until the end of 2019, measuring the level of air pollution in the Danish capital.
A partnership between the city and US tech giant is behind the work to map pollution in the city, providing politicians and researchers with information that can be used to plan potential measures on air quality.

The Google cars will also benefit residents in the city, according to Google Denmark director Malou Aamund.

“This will give individual residents good information. They will be able to plan their route around the city and avoid the most polluted areas,” Aamund told Ritzau.

Copenhagen is only the second non-American city, after London, to use Google to map its air pollution, the news agency writes.

The initiative will smooth the way for improvement of air quality in the capital, said Ninna Hedeager Olsen, an elected member of the municipality’s urban planning committee (teknik- og miljøborgmester) with the Red-Greed Alliance (Enhedslisten) party, via a press statement.

“By working with one of the world’s biggest tech firms, Google, we are as a municipality pushing new methods for measuring air quality in the city,” Olsen said.

“This will put Copenhagen in the lead in the battle to secure the best possible air quality and to give residents information so that they can choose, for example, to cycle on less-polluted routes,” she continued.

Copenhagen is a good choice for Google due to the green profile sought by the city, Aamund said.

“We have looked at which cities are generally progressive on green issues. Copenhagen stands out in this context, both in terms of its innovation and approach to new partnerships,” she said.

Research has found air pollution to be related to the deaths of 550 people in Copenhagen annually, according to Ritzau’s report.

Researchers and politicians will use the data collected by Google to gain a clearer insight into where and how measures should be taken.

Air pollution has previously only been measured at three locations in the city.