Principal inquiry:

How does city design affect air quality?

Breathe Bengaluru

'Breathe Bengaluru’ is a collaborative study, conceived to develop a hyperlocal, scalable, 'Neighbourhood model' to understand deteriorating air quality in the context of the Indian city fabric and its impact on public health, ground up. The exercise brought together a coalition of experts in the fields of urban planning, atmospheric sciences, public health, traffic modelling and technology (sensor makers) in conjunction with local resident community groups. A key aspect here, was the focus on 'assessing local air', as opposed to ambient air, so that AQ data is more reflective of the experience of air pollution on ground.



  • Partnership: Sensing Local (urban planners) + Sensors Without Borders (AQ Sensor developer) 

  • Impact Population: 25,000 people

  • Location: BTM layout, Bengaluru

  • Duration: Oct 2016 - March 2017

  • Key collaborators and stakeholders:

    • Dr. Pallavi Pant - Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Environmental Health at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (Atmospheric Science and data analysis)

    • St. Johns Hospital (Medical Expertise)

    • BTM Resident Welfare Organizations (Community perspective)

    • City municipality (Governance)

    • Traffic police (Traffic expertise)

    • Student Volunteers from Christ University, BMS University (Surveys)



  1. Quantification of air pollution, and its impact. How bad is the air quality in Bengaluru?

  2. Identifying who is most vulnerable. Who is it most affecting by it and how?

  3. Evaluating the role of commodity sensors as an affordable alternative for citizens to be involved in understanding their local environment better.

  4. Given that air pollution is only symptomatic of an unplanned city. What do we need to do to design cities better to improve the quality of our living environment?


  • Density of coverage | How many sensors are required to cover the city?

  • Range of measurement | How does the data quantify the actual experience of air pollution?

  • Data Measurements and Dissipation formats | Making data usable for diverse stakeholders 

  • Data accuracy and reliability | How does pollution data relate to My Street, My Neighborhood, My Exposure, My health?

// Feature Report


Results of BTM study 

Open House #4



Since Oct 2016, we have held 5 open houses, aside from several interviews and meetings to share the progress of the study, allow for course corrections as well as bring aboard new collaborations.

June 5, 2017

The event marked the culmination of the BTM study, seeking direction for next steps and understanding perspectives from other interested actors in the city.

Key goals for the...

May 13, 2017

Open House #4 was conducted to share results of the BTM layout, AQ study to evaluate potential actions on ground.

Guest Speaker: Christa Hasenkopf, founder to OPENAQ


November 17, 2016

The third open house was conducted to present to local community members, the intermediate progress of the study for feedback & course correction. The results of the perceptio...

October 4, 2016

Breathe Bengaluru held its first two open houses as way of involving a larger spectrum of people in the city from diverse backgrounds to tackle the pressing issue of air pollu...

April 22, 2016

A interactive mapping game devised to build awareness among children on their impact on air pollution while travelling from home to school. The exercise created a competition...

Please reload