The Multiple Airs: Pollution, Competing Digital Information Flows and Mobile App Design in China

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The chapter discusses the role of digital air quality information (AQI) in the production of more sustainable localities through behavioural changes. Initially, we explore public trust in AQIs, before discussing the recent evolution of a mobile phone app which uses air quality information as a vehicle to collect other kinds of environmental information. This app was designed by a Chinese NGO. Its use is complicated by the existence in Beijing of two competing AQIs. One is produced by the US Embassy, while the other is owned by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau, with the existence of the former negatively impacting trust in the latter. The chapter outlines how the conflict between the US and Beijing AQIs influenced the design of the app by the NGO, which instead of relying only on the usual AQI numerical indexes, developed visual forms related to everyday practices such as car washing, dressing and exercising. This appears to confirm communication issues in AQI numerical indexes, and the need for ground air quality information and, by extension, environmental communication generally in the everyday lives of citizens in order to maximize the possibility of behavioural changes.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Local and the Digital in Environmental Communication
EditorJ Díaz-Pont, P Maeseele, A Egan Sjölander, M Mishra, K Foxwell-Norton
Numero di pagine19
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • Media
  • Pollution


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