The Verse’s Doug Gregg, third year BSc Geography student, discusses his research looking into public perceptions of air quality in Brighton and Hove, and how social factors can shape these perceptions.
Air quality is one of those issues we’ve all heard of and been affected by in one way or another. Whether it’s car fumes triggering asthma or volcanoes delaying our holidays, the air and its makeup is something that we just cannot avoid encountering throughout our daily lives. That said, the quality of the air we breathe varies incredibly both spatially and temporally.
But even then, if we place multiple people in one location and ask them how the air quality is at that time, we’re likely to see a range in ratings. Why is this? Studies into perceptions which have taken place in Greece (2017), China (2015,16) and Norway (2008) to name a few have attempted to ascertain which socioeconomic variations, such as age, education level and income, can alter an individual’s perception. Further, there is uncertainty as to whether self-reported air quality provides an accurate depiction of actual monitored or modelled air quality.
So, for my own dissertation, I’ve created a project examining how people who live and/or work/study in Brighton and Hove view air quality throughout August to mid-October, with the aim of comparing self-perceived perception with modelled air quality. Further, the project aims to distinguish the socioeconomic differences that drive individuals to have different perceptions of air quality.
And this is where you come in! If you’re in Brighton and Hove, please spare five minutes to help make this project as detailed as possible. The link is bit.ly/brightonair.