Air-purifying billboard

Call for Innovations Call for Innovations
This case was submitted as part of the Call for Innovations, an annual partnership initiative between OPSI and the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation (MBRCGI)

The air-purifying billboard is a Macedonian innovative prototype that aim to clean the ambient air mainly polluted from traffic. There are currently 2 pilot billboards implementing this technology.
The vacuum cleaning based solution, if set to all 820 billboards in Skopje can reduce air pollution by up to 20%, as the filter can purify 2.5 million cubic meters of air per month. The filters can absorb the PM10, PM 2.5 and other harmful particles. Around 200,000 bus passengers and 150,000 more pedestrians will directly benefit from this innovation every day.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Air pollution poses a major environmental and health concern for Macedonia’s population of two million people, particularly for those living in the capital and all other larger cities. Per the European Environment Agency, the capital city of Skopje is among the most polluted cities in Europe. The latest Ministry of Environment report indicate that household heating practices (biomass burning) constitute 32% of total emissions. Together with traffic congestion (19%), large-scale construction works (19%) and industry (18%), these emissions have led to the highest average concentration of pollution in Skopje in history, with a record level (1219 μg/m3 hourly) of harmful PM10 particles in winter. The actions of the relevant institutions are extremely slow, and burdened by bureaucracy. The situation is highly critical in the past 5+ years, yet, no action has so far been undertaken. The costs from the air pollution are very high, both for the state, but more importantly for the citizens. As usual, the burden is carried most heavily by the most vulnerable, poorest citizens.
The idea for an air-purifying billboard was the fruit of a Climate Challenge for citizens, which was designed to find innovative solutions to the most pressing urban challenges. The idea was developed into solution at a weekend social innovation camp. Two prototype billboards are already constructed by a local company and currently being placed at two very frequent crossroads in Skopje. The billboards will aim to clean the air mainly polluted from traffic congestions. As the personal exposure to air pollution showed, the citizens that walk or cycle are mostly exposed to the pollution, and particularly to the pollution caused by traffic congestions, because it remains at the height of the people while walking or cycling on the streets.
While the strategies to reduce the congestions, and decrease the number of highly polluting vehicles are not efficient, it is critical to develop such cutting-edge innovations that can achieve quick wins. The solution, if set to all 820 billboards currently placed at the whole territory of the city can reduce air pollution by up to 20%, as the filter can purify 2.5 million cubic meters of air per month. The filters can absorb the PM10, PM 2.5 and other harmful particles. The solution is rather simple, based on vacuum cleaner process of working, with several types of filters installed with proper devices to suck the air and let it out after cleaning. The two prototype billboards will be used to test in detail all the possibilities and specifications before the project can be replicated on a large scale.
Around 200,000 bus passengers daily and at least 150,000 more pedestrians will directly benefit from this innovation every day, and the rest of Skopje residents indirectly while driving, or those living very near to the congested streets. If the prototype is successful, City of Skopje will add this feature to all existing billboards.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

Innovation Reflections

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Year: 2018
Level of government: Local government

Status:

  • Implementation - making the innovation happen

Innovation provided by:

Join our community:

It only takes a few minutes to complete the form and share your project.