Cultivator member open-seneca is a student-led initiative working on creating a global low-cost mobile air pollution sensor network. The aim is to empower citizens with air pollution data to raise awareness, initiate a behavioural change, and inform policy makers on environmental issues.
CGE have helped facilitate collaboration between open-Seneca and the Nairobi Maker space on an air quality sensing project. Their most recent trip to Nairobi in May focused on co-creative developing, prototyping and building the final sensor design. A total of 18 mobile sensors were built and presented during the first UN Habitat Assembly in Nairobi.
After the open-seneca team’s departure, Kenyan collaborators at the Maker space took ownership of the local hub of the project and organised an educational workshop. Participants not only learnt how to build sensors with open-source hardware and software, but also how to interpret the air quality data that will be collected. The built sensors were mounted on different locality-specific transport modes: three on Uber taxis, two on matatus (Nairobi’s minibuses), two on boda bodas (motorcycle taxis) and three on bicycles. The drivers and cyclists set off that afternoon and began mapping the air quality levels around Nairobi at different times of the day.