Air Quality Life Index

Measuring the effects of air pollution on human life expectancy

I was the sole designer for the user experience and visual design of the index and website. We all know air pollution is bad for your health. It's significantly harder to breadth during a hazy day. The AQLI was born from new research from uChicago proving the causality calculation between the amount of air pollution and the decrease in a person's average life expectancy.

Client: uChicago
User Experience, Data Visualization, Web Design
Agency: Constructive

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So the map isn't showing air pollution?

World Health Organization (WHO) has published a safe global pollution standard that a lot of countries have implemented.

But many countries have set their own national standard which usually is a lot higher than what WHO recommends. This increase of air pollution results in a decrease of life expectancy.

The AQLI calculates how many life-years saved a country would give its citizens if they lowered their air pollution standards to the recommended WHO global standard.   

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A mobile-optimized tool for a global audience

It was crucial to make a fully functional mobile experience of the interactive map because more people around the globe access the internet through their phones than on a desktop today. I didn't want to sacrifice any map functionality because it would diminish the story the data is telling. 

Also, the AQLI is completely translated into English, Mandarin, and Hindi

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More than one way to explore the data

People can view country and region date throughout 1998-2018 on a map or graph view. Every country has interactive charts ranking pollution across region and where the country places on the global ranking.

All the data can be publically downloaded through a .csv file.

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Highlighting policy impacts

Throughout history, countries all over the world have experienced intense air pollution during periods of rapid industrialization. These countries have largely been successful in confronting their pollution challenge thanks to a demand for change from their citizens and subsequent strong policies. The AQLI provides a metric to determine the benefits of these policies in terms of extended lives.

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© Doug Knapton 2021