Air quality in Hackney

We’re committed to ensuring that Hackney is a place for all to breathe clean air. We also want to make sure that everybody is aware of the impacts of air pollution, what the levels are within Hackney and what can be done to improve air quality.

We have a statutory duty to review and assess air quality within Hackney. This means considering the sources of pollution and the pollution levels, then comparing these to health-based air quality objectives (AQO).

The pollutants which are of greatest concern in Hackney are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). To find out more information on these pollutants and air quality, visit London Air.

We assess air pollutant concentrations through air quality monitoring and air quality modelling.


Air Quality Action Plan 2021 to 2025

Due to exceedances of the objectives for NO2 and PM10, we declared a borough-wide Air Quality Management Area (AQMA).

We are, therefore, required to have an Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) under the London Local Air Quality Management (LLAQM) framework.

Our Air Quality Action Plan 2021 to 2025 outlines 47 actions we’ll take to improve air quality in Hackney over the years up to, and including, 2025.

Our plan includes a commitment to meeting the 2005 World Health Organization (WHO) guideline values for particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) by 2030.

See our Air Quality Action Plan 2021 to 2025 (PDF 5.3mb)

See our Air Quality Action Plan matrix 2021 to 2025 (PDF 1.5mb)

Daily air quality levels

The London air widget below shows the current and forecast air quality levels across London including in Hackney at our automatic monitor located on Old Street based on the daily air quality index. It also provides health advice on how to reduce your exposure to air pollution depending on the air quality level. To find out more about air pollution alerts, see Raising awareness about air quality and working with others – Pollution alerts.

Air quality monitoring

We undertake air quality monitoring using two main methods:

  • automatic monitors provide real-time data on levels of NO2, PM10, PM2.5 and ozone
  • passive monitors (diffusion tubes) provide monthly averages of NO2

We currently operate six automatic monitoring stations, four of which we have hired for a period of two years. You can view and download all the data, as well as data reports, from Hackney’s automatic monitoring stations by visiting Air Quality England – London Borough of Hackney Monitoring data.

We operate around 140 diffusion tube monitoring stations. You can see the locations of these monitors in the map below. We report all the data from our diffusion tubes yearly in our Air Quality Annual Status Reports.

Air quality monitoring locations in Hackney

Breathe London

Breathe London is a network of real-time air quality sensors which span across the whole of London, funded by the Mayor of London. The monitors record levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM2.5 particulate matter.

There are currently six Breathe London nodes in Hackney. You can see the exact location of these sensors as well as the monitored data on Breathe London – Current air quality map.

Air quality modelling

Air quality modelling is used to predict levels of air pollution using modelling software.

We use modelling for:

Air quality modelling maps

We have commissioned external consultants, AECOM to undertake modelling of NO2 and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) across the entire borough.

You can access baseline air pollutant maps for the year 2018 via the links labelled by pollutants:

Changes to NO2 annual mean concentrations between 2013 and 2019

The London Atmospheric Emission Inventory (LAEI) is a key tool for analysis of air quality in London, produced by the Greater London Authority. It is a regularly updated database of pollutant emissions and sources. It includes air quality modelling to estimate levels of air pollution across London.

Concentrations of NO2 have been decreasing steadily in recent years. Annual average NO2 concentration (GIF 4mb) shows how annual mean NO2 concentrations have changed in Hackney from 2013 to 2016 and 2019 according to the LAEI.

What we’re doing about air quality

See our air quality action plan for more details on how we are improving air quality across the borough.

Page updated on: 8 December 2023

Land, Air, Water


PO Box 70210
E8 9FB


Opening times

  • Monday-Friday 9am-4pm. Please contact us to book an appointment.