Air Walk: Monitoring Pollution and Experimenting with Speculative Forms of Participation

Gabrys, Jennifer. 2017. Air Walk: Monitoring Pollution and Experimenting with Speculative Forms of Participation. In: Charlotte Bates and Alex Rhys-Taylor, eds. Walking Through Social Research. Routledge. ISBN 1138674044 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

The rise of low-cost environmental monitoring technologies has shifted the subjects, sites and practices involved in detecting and experiencing air pollution. How might these new arrangements and detections of air pollution be further developed through practice-based research? This chapter discusses an ‘Air Walk’ held in the South London neighborhoods of New Cross Gate and Deptford in July 2013. The walk was a pilot event held as part of the Citizen Sense research project, which focuses on different citizen-based practices and technologies of environmental monitoring. The walk experiments with forms of participation, as an entry point for developing distinct approaches to working with monitoring technologies. In this way, the walk set out to investigate the various ways in which air pollution might be monitored, assessed and experienced, whether through digital, bodily or institutional means. Moving from descriptive approaches of participation to generative experiments with participation, the walk is a process for asking and testing how it might be possible to experiment with the experiences of air and air pollution by setting in motion the sites, participant encounters, monitoring kit, infrastructures, urban situations, and speculative practices as they come together in this context.

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Book Section


Citizen sensing, citizen science, participation, air pollution, environmental monitoring, walking, practice research, inventive methods, speculation, collective experimentation

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15 July 2016Accepted
14 April 2017Published


Funding bodyFunder IDGrant Number
European Research CouncilUNSPECIFIED313347

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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2016 16:22

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:20


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