AMEE + IBM Team wins climathon London

Last Thursday Nicholas O’Donnell-Hoare and Chris Guy from AMEE sat down with Dom Harries from IBM and the particle physicist Dr David Voong, with 24 hours to create Pollupla and Win Climathon London. 

The Challenge was to “Improve air quality in London and / or help people track and avoid it” (check out all the challenges here). Instead of progressing down the same old beaten path of just presenting information to the user or a utopian system which could speculatively eradicate air-pollution through data collection, we chose a simpler path based on user values. As a team we decided to try and understand what people care about in London and then link this to Air Quality to make the issues seem more imminent and closer as a problem to people. Its clear that although people like to say they care about climate change and feel sad about polar bears on melting ice sheets people’s  behaviours simply do not reflect the worries. This as we found is actually in part because environmental change is slow and not presented in a way which is connected to seemingly real day to day happenings. The question is: What do we connect air quality to in order to engineer a sense of a more pressing issue?

There has been a housing boom in London for as long as we can remember, Million pound 1 bed flats are frequently sold which can only be described as madness when the poor air quality is presented next to the price. Kings College’s London Air paints an incredibly bleak story of poor air in London, twinning this information with Zoopla allows us to index and view properties based on their quality. Fortunately we can keep the filters Zoopla provides like price, location and size so users can search the same way as their used to but instead of presenting properties based on highest or lowest price we can allow the user to eliminate instantly the properties with the worst air quality and focus on the ones which have better air quality.

The concept was surrounding the idea that if we can build a tool to affect people house prices based on the quality of air in their area then the incentive moves from a top down governance of telling people to act, to a ground up incentivised process where house owners have something to loose if they don’t engage. The result was pulling Kings College’s London Air API data and using the Zoopla API to build an MVP of the proposed solution called ‘Pollupla’.

We followed a strict extreme design and development process to build a working MVP as a proof of concept but also created visuals to propose what it could look like taking it forward to a first draft of a finished state.  Check out below what we built and view the MVP prototype here.

You can also view the visuals from the presentation  HERE

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