Fossil fuels for transport, industry and home energy are major sources of greenhouse gases and air pollution. Reducing the use of fossil fuels to achieve net zero emissions targets in the UK will require major changes to how we live: citizen support will be therefore be essential.

Citizen science is one way to engage communities with energy transitions by raising awareness of emissions, sources of pollution and empowering communities with data. However, those living in deprived areas or on low household incomes tend to be less likely to participate in citizen science initiatives. They are also more likely to be living in areas of environmental pollution or of low environmental quality. Further, cities receive attention in terms of air quality, but the personal exposure of people living in smaller communities – which may still have localised areas of low air quality – is less known.

Visit the EXPO-EXCHANGE website to find out more about the project


In this project, we will work with communities in the Camborne/Redruth area of Cornwall and the South Wales Valleys areas. The project’s objectives are to:

  1. Develop a network of stakeholders and community members interested in air quality in the two areas.
  2. Identify barriers to taking part in citizen science for people living in these areas.

There will therefore be two stages to the project:

  • Network building (spring 2023) – we will identify and build relationships with key stakeholders/gatekeepers in the community.
  • Community engagement (summer 2023) – we will survey and discuss with community members their concerns about air pollution, barriers to taking part in air quality citizen science and factors that would enable participation. We will analyse this data quantitatively and qualitatively to produce a journal article.

The ultimate aim of this project is progress towards establishing air quality citizen science networks equitably around the country.