2017 Leeds Climathon

Our staff and students help lead the way in tackling air pollution in Leeds.

The 2017 Leeds Climathon participants


Leeds researchers and students played a key role in the 2017 Leeds Climathon, focusing on the problems of air pollution in Leeds and helping to devise innovative solutions, which could feed into the city’s Clean Air Plan.

The Priestley International Centre for Climate partnered with the Leeds Climate Commission to help organise the two-day event, at which five teams were tasked by Leeds City Council (LCC) with devising non-charging ways of tackling air pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city.  

Researchers from several disciplines at Leeds helped the teams on their way by introducing relevant specialist subjects, including:

•    Dr Steve Arnold and Dr Jim McQuaid on atmospheric composition
•    Dr Cat Scott on urban green spaces
•    Dr Pete Edwards on air pollution monitoring
•    Dr Richard Tunstall on business models
•    Dr Katy Wright on community engagement
•    Jack Brookes, Erik Thomasson and Professor Richard Romano on using virtual reality technology

External speakers also contributed information on the legal framework (Walker Morris LLP), sustainable transport (Sustrans), enterprise and gamification (Greengame), refrigerated transport (Dearman), and Leeds air quality data (ODI Leeds and Leeds City Council).

After two days of intensive work, the five teams presented their proposals.  The two joint winners -both including Leeds undergraduates - were judged joint winners.

Plants for Pollution proposed vertical garden installations and moss-framed billboards to absorb pollution and beautify the city, with an LCC-owned multi-storey car park suggested as a pilot.

Be a Stop Idol proposed an awareness campaign to encourage drivers to switch off their engines when stationary.

These two ideas will be presented to a full meeting of LCC and other stakeholders in December.

All five teams will get further support from the Climathon team to continue to develop their ideas.

Read more about the 2017 Climathon.

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