In October 2022, Malve Jacobsen went to Paris – a European metropolitan area with high air pollution, on the one hand, and various initiatives to combat air pollution, on the other hand. Within the framework of her research project on urban air technologies and breathability, she conducted first interviews and ethnographically explored the urban space. Air quality has found its way onto political agendas. Civil society organizations, scholars and tech enterprises have become interested in questions of measurement, remediation and improvement of the Parisian air quality. Malve found out that political programs and technological experimentation do not only focus on busy roads and dense neighborhoods but also on subterranean air pollution, namely the highly-frequented underground metro stations. Measuring air quality herself with a micro sensor, Malve started to adapt her behavior to the level of pollution: Avoiding big roads during rush hour, wearing an FFP2 mask in the metro.
After gathering these first insights, more field trips will follow in early 2023. The fieldwork is funded by the Internal University Research Funding of the JGU.