Over the past few weeks, CAN has initiated a pilot program “Clean Air Neighborhood” in Tuen Mun. The program develops a cross-sectoral collaboration among professionals with diverse backgrounds, community groups and members (kaifong) in the neighborhood to identify the reasons of poor air quality on streets and find out the solutions in district level.
A group of urban planners set up a structured methodology in the analysis of the healthy street design. In the meantime, the kaifong and student have taken part in data collection and air monitoring. Their contribution and dedication convert those complicated data into comprehensible visualization. All were presented in the townhall meeting on 16 February.
Data visualization about Tuen Mun air pollution in townhall meeting
The data visualization illustrated the risk factors we seldom paid attention to and triggered dialogues within the community members on healthy street design. We are happy to see this community engagement project starts to raise public awareness on air pollution issue and showcases individual efforts can be a crucial part to clean air.
Here are some of the locations in Tuen Mun worth to note in the aspect of air pollution and public health:
Location 1 – The area outside Hyland Theatre
Location 7 –Intersection of Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Road & Ho Pang St.
Location 10 –Intersection of Choi Yee Bridge & Tuen Mun Heung Sze Wui Road
The streets are narrow and often experience heavy traffic, while the buildings are much taller than the width of the roads. Besides, it lacks the planning of ventilation corridor. “Street canyon effect” is created in this case, unfortunately, many air pollutants emitted from vehicles are quickly trapped and accumulated in the canyon area. The pedestrian, drivers and neighbours have to suffer breathing the high concentration of polluted air.
Suggestions from kaifong:
– Provide more bicycle parking spaces in schools and other community facilities. It encourages students, teachers and community members in Tuen Mun to bike instead of driving for short distance of travel, in addition, to reduce car emissions.
– Create a WhatsApp group that shares PM2.5 and Nitrogen dioxide data. It aims to notify the public to avoid walking those air pollution black spots when the concentration of pollutants exceed the healthy standard. The group is also a great platform for kaifong sharing news and knowledge about air pollution.
– Encourage drivers and car owners switching off the engines of idling vehicles