London Bridge parklet monitors air quality

Fresh air square blooms

With spring upon us, London Bridge's Fresh Air Square is blooming. Designed by WMB Studio, the bold temporary seating and planting occupies two parking spaces on busy Tooley Street. As well as providing a pleasant spot to linger, part of its function is also to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels in an attempt to help improve air quality in the area.

It's an initiative by Team London Bridge, the result of an open comptetition held last year, and funded by the TfL Future Streets incubator fund. The idea is to highlight the problem of traffic-related air pollution in the capital.

Nicknamed the Parked Bench, the planted seating will be on Tooley Street until November 2016 at least, and is due to be joined this summer by two or three more parklets in yet-to-be-confirmed locations.

Former deputy mayor Isabel Dedring said: '80 per cent of all public space in London is on our roads. Roads are crucial for moving Londoners around, and carry upwards of 20 million people a day. But they are also part of our neighbourhoods. Disused or underused parts of the road network can play a part – as in this brilliant scheme – in creating new public spaces and nicer neighbourhoods, without compromising wider movement on the roads. We would love to see more schemes like this across London.'

Information on other green spaces in the London Bridge area – including community gardens and green walls – is available here

See live air-quality readings direct from the bench on the Team London Bridge website 

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