Urban Science logo

Engaging science, creating sustainable cities

Learning Modules


Air quality is a major concern for cities. Air pollution seriously affects human health, with potentially deadly and debilitating effects. Good air quality is essential for the ecosystems on which cities depend. Air pollution represents a serious threat not only to the environment but also to a country’s economy.

During spring 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically slowed world economic growth and had a big impact on air pollution levels across the globe. This was plotted by one of the world’s most extensive air data archives run by the UK’s Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) – ‘The Air Data Archive’. Citizens in communities across the globe need to make sense of this data and what this means for future air quality.

During this module students will be given the opportunity, after learning more about the topic of air pollution, to look at global, national and local data and think about community solutions. Throughout they will be encouraged to engage friends and families in their communities in learning about the issues and solutions. There is a strong emphasis on data collection and, by following the successful examples of UK schools in London and Leicester, adding to the solutions and their own local data sets.

Breathless module