AirBeam Swap creates a global community of local air quality advocates

Published December 23, 2021

The AirBeam Swap is a new Urban95 project to collect data and raise awareness of air quality and its importance for babies, toddlers and their caregivers. 

Members of the AirBeam Swap have signed up to use an AirBeam – a small device that monitors air quality and enables the results to be mapped – for three months, to collect air quality data in their neigbourhood, and then pass it on to the next participant. The aim is to create a sense of community within and across the areas that are participating. The project will kick off in January and after three periods of three months, the results will be collated in October.

A virtual launch event last month brought together 80 advocates of air quality from 18 countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, United Kingdom, Brazil, Turkey, India, Spain, Georgia, Peru, Malaysia, Colombia, Jordan, United States, Russia, Israel, Ecuador, Kenya and Indonesia, as well as Michael Heimbinder, Founder and Executive Director of HabitatMap and the AirBeam. In all, close to 120 people responded to our online call for applications to be part of the project.

Asking participants about their monitoring plans, one answered: “My idea would be to bring the monitor everywhere I go on a daily basis.” Another person shared: “Near my house there is a main road and a park, and I am interested in the quality of the air there.” Participants will measure air quality on the journey from their homes to their children’s school, on the streets near childcare facilities, and in playgrounds and parks in various cities and neighbourhoods around the globe.

The Foundation’s Knowledge for Policy Director, Ankita Chachra, outlined the aims of the project:

to increase awareness about the importance of clean air for the health and brain development of babies and toddlers; to share data and experiences with peers; and generate evidence for local activism.

Participants will be encouraged to share images of the places they are monitoring on social media.

If you would like to know more about the AirBeam Swap project, please contact us at