It’s been a while since an iconic red balloon has soared the skies of Paris, and we’re excited to report that another altruistic beacon is set to grace the city’s sweeping skyline. Airparif recently deployed a giant helium balloon that will provide Parisians with an at-a-glance indication of both atmospheric and inner-city air quality. The Aérophile balloon is the first of its kind and will employ an innovative color-changing system to broadcast an important environmental message.

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Part of the problem with addressing air quality is that many pollutants are invisible to the naked eye and thus go unnoticed. Situated in André-Citroën park, the Ballon Air De Paris is visible for a radius of 20 km and is seen by 400,000 people every day.

The tethered helium balloon will change colors to express air quality data collected from six sensors placed around Paris. Three projectors situated in the balloon’s center display atmospheric air quality by changing the balloon’s color from green (very clean) to red (hazardous), and a high-powered laser sweeps the lower half of the balloon to display traffic pollution.

The striking symbol is a valuable tool that will inform the public about the quality of the air they breathe. In addition to promoting public knowledge about air pollution, the local government has expressed hopes that if the balloon becomes orange or red, it will encourage Parisians to adopt eco-friendly practices such as traveling via foot, bike or public transportation, reducing their use of heating, and avoiding the use of airborne solvents.

The project will also offer an emission-free balloon ride that gives passengers a sweeping panorama of the city of light from 150 meters in the air.

+ Ballon Air De Paris + Airparif + Aérophile

Tip via Caitlyn K