Internet of Things project for school streets makes Net Zero 50 List

11 Nov 2022

The London Boroughs of Sutton and Kingston have been monitoring streets for primary schools to try and improve school commutes.

Sensor technology set up by Vivacity Labs and Breathe London with Sutton and Kingston Councils measures the number of pedestrians, modes of transport and air quality on selected primary school streets across the two boroughs. This supports initiatives such as the School Streets scheme, with both councils committed to improving issues that affect the environment and health of residents.

It’s important to add that the monitoring process does not capture individual data. Instead, the technology uses edge processing and machine learning. This means cameras 'see the area' but convert the information into simple data, like one person and two dogs just passed, then a car drove past. No personal data is kept. The technology helps us to assess the transport types passing the sensors and then reports back with numbers against each mode of transport used. 

The monitoring project is part of an Internet of Things (IoT) scheme, which is run across five south London boroughs known as the South London Partnership (SLP). The projects must be problem-focused and this venture supports the climate emergency and health.

The system has been helping us make changes by collecting data for 18 months - it has now been shortlisted to the Net Zero 50 List 2022! Coinciding with the COP27 conference held this year in Sharm El Sheikh, the Net Zero 50 List represents the top 50 individuals, initiatives, products and services helping us reach Net Zero in the UK. 

The results now show us which streets need more help to improve air quality and get families thinking about travelling to school in different ways. It means we can encourage school children to take up more walking or cycling, for example. 

Other benefits include anonymously supporting crowd management, monitoring the impact of road and pavement changes and better management of high footfall areas.

You can vote for the project to win the People’s Choice Award before 16 November by clicking here.