Living Labs – Learning from our Urban Environment: EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022 Retrospective


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The University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University use a living lab approach to research and understand air quality in the city of Leeds. The Leeds Living Lab drives the University of Leeds commitment to embed sustainability through knowledge, engagement, collaboration, and innovation: “By bringing together students, staff and city partners, we research and test sustainable solutions to global issues using the University and our communities as a testbed”, says UoL’s Sustainability Manager, Thom Cooper. In complementary research, the Leeds Sustainability Institute at Leeds Beckett have worked with Leeds City Council to deploy a network of sensors across the city region to monitor the urban environment.

The Living Lab for Air Quality began in November 2017, with the aim of building knowledge of air quality and pollution on campus to shape action that drives improvements to the environment and to the health of UoL’s students, staff, and community. Studies have included particulates on campus, indoor vs outdoor air quality relationships and commuter exposure. In addition to similar studies on air quality, “the LSI at Leeds Beckett”, says Dr Jim Parker, Reader in Building Simulation & Urban Environments, “have also been monitoring the Leeds urban heat island and quantifying the impact of green space on urban heat”.

Outputs from the Living Lab have been used to inform decision making and policy, including Leeds’ Landscape Strategy and Travel Plan, helping to reduce emissions from vehicles and limit exposure to poor air quality.

In a joint keynote presentation on behalf of UoL and LBU LSI, Thom and Jim teamed up at EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022 to convey the benefits of the living lab approach, share learning and examples of work to date and consider the opportunities for expanding and replicating the model along with future work in the city. Jim also demonstrated real-time IAQ monitoring within the room for the duration of the event!

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at The Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds, for the live in-person event on June 17th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Thom and Jim’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from: local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public and private transport operators/service providers; sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; road operators and highways authorities; freight and logistics operators; airports and port operators; vehicle manufacturers; energy providers; potential partners from industry (e.g. retail, construction, manufacturing and waste management sectors) and healthcare; DfT, Defra, EA, BEIS, DHSC and supporting national agencies; prime contractors etc.

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EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Class, North 2022

EMISSIONS & AIR QUALITY Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how they can deploy the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices to improve urban air quality and drive down emissions and air pollution in our cities and regions.


   Leeds, UK

Sponsored by
Marston Holdings
Slingshot Simulations
Vortex IoT

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