40 Ideas Revisted: Canaries – making the invisible visible

We revisit ’40 Ideas for London’, a call out for ideas to shape a better London sketched on napkins. LTS Architects propose a publicly accessible response to air pollution in London.

Air pollution contributes to 5,900 early deaths every year in London. Most of the creative responses, including websites & apps, lack publicly accessible, real-time information. We see an opportunity to change this: a series of ‘canaries’ located across the capital linked to the existing King’s College London air monitoring network. The use of canaries in coal mines instantly changed the behaviour of miners worried about carbon monoxide. Our ‘canaries’ would respond to NO2 and particulate levels making the invisible instantly visible and changing the behaviour of those who navigate the city.

LTS Architects, developed with Jason Bruges Studio, KCL, Thomas-Matthews