Gallery: Environmental Traffic Light Gives Urban Residents Sixth Sense


Even if your local skyline isn’t hazy with smog, there are a number of environmental factors that impact your daily life but fly under the radar of your senses. Seeking to increase awareness and familiarity with environmental phenomena, Hernando Barragan has conceived of an Environmental Traffic Light that monitors and visualizes CO2 levels, air pressure, humidity and a host of other measurements. One of fifty top entries in this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition, these open-source eco outposts are sure to spark increased interest in the environmental factors that affect us all.

In the quest to green our urban spaces, increasing public awareness is half of the battle, and can inform policy on a systemic level. We love seeing innovative approaches towards monitoring urban ecologies, and who wouldn’t breathe easier with an environmental barometer around to keep tabs on air quality and other atmospheric concerns?

The Environmental Traffic Light collects data over a range of fields and presents it to the public in an easy-to-understand manner. Consisting of a variable set of sensors stacked up like a tree, the eco-outposts send data over a network for analysis and can be distributed throughout a city to keep tabs on the interactions of various ecosystems.

Hernando Barragan says: “Just as there are traffic lights that help us regulate traffic vehicular and pedestrian, why not to talk about environmental signals that support decision making on environmental issues? They could give us information – not only phenomena but also the environmental state of our ecosystems. We can imagine these lights in different parts of the city, in parks – in contaminated or abandoned contexts.”

If you’re a fan of this greener gadget be sure to vote for it today in this year’s Greener Gadgets Design Competition! We’ll be using your votes to decide the top ten gadgets that will proceed to an exciting round of live judging at the Greener Gadgets Conference for $5000 in prizes.

+ Environmental Traffic Light

+ Greener Gadgets Design Competition


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1 Comment

  1. bearsong February 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    I like the idea, certainly paired with the concept of 350,, this could be a potent device for change. We most certainly need to become fluent in aspects of our life include CO2 ppm in the air, as well as BTU’s and kw/h. These like MPG, will become an important part of our vocabulary and help to form decisions and design. Currently this device is not a very attractive device, (I think the tree may be offended by the comparison) but hey its function over form at this point!

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