Air pollution has been exceeding recommended levels, not just in Beijing and New Delhi, but also in Sydney. Solving this problem might make a suitable project for my ICT Sustainability students, who start 15 February 2016 at the Australian National University. Normally they estimate carbon dioxide pollution from a single company and suggest how to reduce it. But the same techniques are applicable to other pollutants and on a city-wide scale. Students might like to research this in more depth as well so I created it as a project topic:
Student research topic at the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science
Air pollution has been exceeding recommended levels, not just in Beijing and New Delhi, but also in Sydney. This project will investigate using the ICT Sustainability techniques usually used for carbon dioxide pollution from a single company and apply them to other pollutants on a city-wide scale. There are many ways to use ICT to reduce pollution in theory, but the problem is in how to get people to use them in practice. This project therefore emphasizes the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) aspects: applying knowledge of human behavior so people can use, and want to use, technology which cuts pollution.
Some techniques, discussed in Worthington (2011) to reduce pollution are:
- Dematerialisation: use computers instead of physical goods. For example, replace traveling to meetings with teleworking.
- Smart Motor Systems: More efficient computer controlled motors to reduce energy use.
- Smart Logistics: More efficient good delivery to reduce truck use. These techniques might be used for example, for a parcel service using hybrid or electric trucks. Also an Uber-type service with electric vehicles could reduce pollution from private cars.
- Smart Buildings: Computer control of buildings to reduce energy use. This is normally thought of being applied to large corporate buildings and new apartment blocks, but increasingly can be applied to smaller, older, buildings.
- Smart Grids: Computer controlled electricity system to more efficiently use power, especially renewable energy. An example is Dr Lachlan Blackhall's Reposit Power in Fishwick.
ReferenceWorthington, T. (2011). ICT Sustainability: Assessment and strategies for a low carbon future. Retrieved from http://www.tomw.net.au/ict_sustainability/introduction.shtml