The expanding scope of air pollution monitoring can facilitate sustainable development Academic Article uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • This paper explores technologies currently expanding the physical scope of air pollution monitoring and their potential contributions to the assessment of sustainable development. This potential lies largely in the ability of these technologies to address issues typically on the fringe of the air pollution agenda. Air pollution monitoring tends to be primarily focused on human health, and largely neglects other aspects of sustainable development. Sensor networks, with their relatively inexpensive monitoring nodes, allow for monitoring with finer spatiotemporal resolution. This resolution can support more conclusive studies of air pollution's effect on socio-ecological justice and human quality of life. Satellite observation of air pollution allows for wider geographical scope, and in doing so can facilitate studies of air pollution's effects on natural capital and ecosystem resilience. Many air pollution-related aspects of the sustainability of development in human systems are not being given their due attention. Opportunities exist for air pollution monitoring to attend more to these issues. Improvements to the resolution and scale of monitoring make these opportunities realizable.


  • Knox, Andrew
  • Mykhaylova, Natalia
  • Evans, Greg J
  • Lee, Colin J
  • Karney, Brian
  • Brook, Jeffrey R

publication date

  • March 2013