Sensing Bodies: Urban Exposure and Asthma in Delhi, India

Duration: 09/18 – 09/21

Air pollution poses increasing risks to residents of developing cities, particularly those belonging to marginalised or low income groups, and is especially acute in urban areas of India. Sensing Bodies: Urban Exposure and Asthma in Delhi, India focuses on air pollution in the country’s capital and ongoing efforts to assess its impacts on its younger inhabitants.

This project examines a research study currently in progress in Delhi that engages young people (16 – 18) suffering from asthma with body sensors, a new technology that allows its wearers to monitor their exposure to pollution in real time. Besides drawing out the potential opportunities that this approach presents to developing a detailed map of air pollution in the city, it also explores some of the practical and ethnical challenges around it.

The research, drawing on workshops, interviews and other participatory engagement with the young people involved in the study, will provide a clearer picture of the experiences of those engaged in the study and provide not only the scientists leading the study but also the broader policy community with a better understanding of the opportunities and potential pitfalls of sensor technology in assessing air pollution.

Project Twitter

Emma Garnett (Principal Investigator, Research Fellow in Social Science and Urban Public Health)

• Surveys, walking interviews and workshops with young users of sensor technology to develop a clearer picture of experiences of young participants in air pollution research.
• Dissemination of findings to scientists leading the study to bridge knowledge between them and study participants, to improve awareness of potential risks and ethnical challenges of research.
• Broader communication of outputs to other interested stakeholders within India and at an international level thorough exhibitions in Delhi and London, as well as other platforms.