Reducing NOx levels in one of the UK’s most polluted streets

Following an introduction to Leeds City Council at a Nexus event, and also working with the Open Data Institute, Slingshot are confronting “what if” scenarios to expose the real impact of pollution and improve the health of people in cities without adversely affecting their day to day lives. Slingshot are leading a pollution-tackling ‘Breathing City’ project which was born from a collaborative presentation with fellow Nexus members: Scaled Insights, GMAP Analytics and Edge Analytics at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2019 in Barcelona. The Barcelona project utilised their combined data and technologies to help present a better future for cities and citizens around the world.

Slingshot, supported by the University of Leeds, has been focusing on Neville Street, in Leeds, one of the most polluted streets in the UK, and together the team are exploring ways to reduce NOx levels. The project looks at how we predict and influence demographic change; through simulations via a ‘Digital Twin’ of the city – a living digital model of a real-world entity or system – the team then simulates different scenarios, such as air quality, using multiple open data sources.

“Being part of the nexus community allows us to have regular interactions with world leading experts across a range of fields such as psychology and environmental science. For the ‘breathing city’ project this has added valuable insights that would have been otherwise challenging to arrange all under one roof.”
A collection of selfies, in a grid format showing the Slingshot Simulations team making up a remote team photot

The work focuses on the use of electric vehicles, specifically around gaining a deeper understanding of the barriers to use and how to overcome them. In partnership with Scaled Insights the project plans to consider what motivates the general population to make changes and what the social cues are required to encourage late adopters to opt for electric vehicles.

The ‘Breathing City’ project will help Leeds City Council to understand how they can meet their air quality targets and inform key decision makers.