Our local impact, which makes a real difference to our city and region

Making a real difference to our city and region.

We are committed to ensuring our successes drive local enterprise and business and contribute to the success of our city and region. We will launch a new campaign focused on helping our city to meet its most significant environmental, social and educational challenges.

On air... cleaning up our city

Estimated to cause 29,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, air quality is a global issue that directly affects people’s health and lives. Leicester is one of the most polluted cities in the UK and Leicestershire is one of the most polluted counties, with particularly high levels of NO2 which aggravates respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, like asthma, as well as posing other long-term risks.

At the University of Leicester, we provide creative solutions to tomorrow’s air quality challenges, informing and enabling intelligent decisions grounded in world-class research which is a key reason that this forms a strategic theme in our new Corporate and Social Responsibility policy.

Using the latest technology - whether gathering data from satellites in space, placing air pollution cameras on traffic lights, or utilising aircraft to take pictures of pollution - we lead science that creates everyday impact. Our pioneering work includes CityScan, a novel ground-based hemispherical NO2 mapper, invented and developed at the University of Leicester.

Working closely alongside our partner organisations including local authorities, government agencies and research institutes, we help shape government policy by conducting ground-breaking research in areas that affect people on a local, national and international level. As an example, we support Leicester City Council with the Air Quality Action Plan, a key citywide strategic approach to tackling the problem.

Our studies cover everything from improving traffic flow, urban sustainability and examining the effects of wood-burning in cites through to climate change. We are closely involved with the UTRAQ system, which is designed to help towns and cities manage air quality by employing traffic management strategies which consider how vehicle emissions will disperse given the current climatic conditions.

We bring together university academics in chemistry, physics, geography, medicine and meteorology on a project-by-project basis to assess user needs, fully understand the wider scientific problem, develop and evaluate solutions and identify opportunities for today, tomorrow and the future of Leicester as well as the rest of the world.