How we can get the information we need to breathe free
LES Breathe took part in a fascinating panel during Open Data Week, an annual knowledge-sharing event sponsored by NYC Open Data. That’s the agency that provides access to the free public data published by New York City and partners, and the nonprofit BetaNYC, which works to make this data more accessible to all.
Five ‘lightning’ talks immersed the audience in the complex world of making air quality data actionable and useful to local residents and decision-makers. Presenters shared best practices from Amsterdam, Miami, NYC and in the case of the data-aggregation project, OpenAQ, the whole world!
Lightning Talk Speakers included:
- Terry Moore, Initiator, The Things Network New York, Inc. on the community-owned ‘Internet of Things’
- Judith Veenkamp, Lead of Smart Citizens Lab at Waag.org, on the creative and practical Dutch approach to open technology as an instrument of social change
- Gregory Johnson, Code for South Florida, LocalAir.org which monitors air-quality in real-time and puts people first through open data
- Wendy Brawer, Co-founder, LES Breathe of East River Park Action, which is working towards engaging our community in protecting air quality during the East Side Coastal Resiliency process
- Sruti Modekurty, Platform Lead, OpenAQ, which brings all the Air Quality and environmental open data together in handy maps and other formats to benefit communities worldwide.
Daniel Alam, Policy Analyst – Manhattan Borough President’s Office
Kate Nicholson, Director of Partnerships and Events – BetaNYC
Watch the one-hour video here. Its importance has grown during the Pandemic, where lowered air quality contributes to higher loss of lives.
LES Breathe’s five-minute round starts at 21:57.
Together with allied groups, LES Breathe will soon be gathering residents to take air quality testing and results to the streets. Join our team of citizen-scientists (you don’t have to be a citizen or a scientist) to support our quest for better air quality. We can use our readings to insist on changes that will give our neighborhood healthier air. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and further resources
Our thanks to Beta NYC and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office, as well as all the presenters. With air quality being such an important issue to residents living near East River Park, LES Breathe is now better equipped to work with air quality-minded groups organizing for a healthier Lower East Side. It takes a village!
Thanks to all the presenters, you can download the slides as a PDF or view online here.
The Chat has lots of links and comments and here are the most salient:
Smart masks video
Photo of people at the track in East River Park by Harriet Hirshorn.