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      Our Urban Observatory


      Our Urban Observatory

      Step inside this amazing data monitoring centre run by experts at Newcastle University.

      Newcastle University's Urban Observatory gathers huge amounts of data on everything from flooding to air pollution, traffic flows and even the behaviour of bees so that informed decisions can be made as we develop our cities for the future. With 70% of people living in cities by 2050, this work is vitally important to ensure that informed decisions can be made to protect the environment as urban areas are developed. 

      Funded in partnership with the UK Collaboration for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC), the Urban Observatory is the largest sensor deployment in the UK and the largest set of open environmental monitoring data in the world. Here are some of its biggest achievements to date.
      Securing £4.3m investment in our 5 year study of the urban environment.
      Deploying 1000+ sensors across Newcastle and Gateshead. Measuring over 60 environmental indicators from air quality to flooding and biodiversity.
      Making 2000 observations every minute.
      In fact, 900 million observations have been made so far. Conducting this programme in the new state-of-the-art, £58m Urban Sciences Building. Newcastle University leads the 14 universities in the UKCRIC network as head of the National Observatory Programme.
      Installing one air monitoring cabinet on the landmark Tyne Bridge.
      Putting sensors in 12 urban beehives across Newcastle.
      Using 2 sensors to monitor the behaviour of bats.

      For the first time we are now able to make more informed decisions about designing our infrastructure and cities.

      Professor Richard Dawson