The Urban Canaries

Exploring new ways of tackling air pollution through a pollution sensor whose own health is depending on its exposure to clean air.

UrbanCanaries

The Urban Canaries

UrbanCanaries

In the moment alerts - A pollution SOS to the parent

UrbanCanaries

An Urban Canary fallen ill from pollution

UrbanCanaries

An Urban Canary recounting its exposure to recent pollution

UrbanCanaries

Parent and child discussing the pollution exposure together

UrbanCanaries

The comprehensive pollution map created by all Urban Canaries

According to the World Health Organization, air pollutants have become the top environmental risk to the health of children since their immune systems and lungs are not fully developed yet at the time the exposure begins.

Drawing inspiration from the concept of the coal miner’s canary, the Urban Canaries are small, portable pollution sensors whose own health gets affected by the pollution they sense.

While accompanying the child on her daily routines they continuously measure the air quality nearby to alert the child in case of air pollution.

As the child’s health, their own health also suffers from continued exposure to polluted air.

Once ill, the Urban Canary can be examined using the parents' smart phone to gather more information about the cause of the illness and learn of ways to heal the Urban Canary.

By requiring the cooperation of both, parent and child, the Urban Canaries create new conversations that increase the understanding and awareness around the effects of inner city air pollution.