Orlando’s Best Areas for Air Quality Revealed in UCF Study
UCF Researchers Look to Public for Ideas on Improving Air Quality in Orlando
Researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) have turned to the public for fresh ideas on how to tackle air pollution in Orlando. The appeal comes after a recent study in which they deployed 60 air quality sensors around the downtown area, some partly designed by UCF students. The sensors were used to monitor the presence of air pollutants, with the results showing a direct correlation between areas with high levels of vehicular traffic and poor air quality.
During a public meeting organized by the researchers on Monday, data points collected from the sensors were discussed and analyzed by city commission district. The findings showed that the poorest air quality was recorded in district six, which includes Washington Shores and Holden Heights, followed by district five, covering Parramore. In contrast, Orlando City Commission District 3, encompassing College Park and Baldwin Park, boasted the greatest average air quality.
Despite the relatively favorable air quality readings throughout most of Orlando, the researchers pointed out that there were distinct variations in air quality levels from neighborhood to neighborhood. UCF Engineering Assistant Professor Haofei Yu said that, while the overall concentration of pollutants was relatively low, residents with respiratory problems, such as asthma, would be more sensitive to the differences.
UCF Public Health Professor Thomas Beyer commended the researchers’ efforts to democratize data by making near real-time air quality reports available to the public via an online interactive map. He urged residents to take advantage of this data to improve their quality of life, particularly in poorly represented areas with lower air quality readings.
Ideas presented by attendees at the meeting included planting more trees and advocating for more mass transit projects. The researchers hope that these ideas and more will help to guide their future work in combating air pollution in Orlando.
Overall, the UCF study has shed new light on air quality levels in Orlando and has highlighted the need for further research and community involvement in addressing this pressing issue.