Louisville KY’s Commitment to Environment, Local Food and Air Quality Highlighted in Royal Visit

Louisville’s commitment to creating a healthier and more sustainable city — along with its many public and private partnerships to develop a robust local food system — will be highlighted during a day-long visit by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall arrive Friday for a series of events, lectures and meetings that have also attracted national and international guests including:

  • Alice Waters — author, restaurateur and founder of “The Edible Schoolyard”
  • Eric Schlosser — author of “Fast Food Nation”
  • Mark Tercek — president and CEO, Nature Conservancy
  • Andrew McElwaine — president and CEO, American Farmland Trust
  • Stephanie Meeks — president of The National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho   — Surgeon General of the Army

“The three pillars of my administration — compassion, lifelong learning and health — have brought Louisville national and international attention as we transform and position our city for the future,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “Our city is deeply honored that Their Royal Highnesses are visiting Louisville to see our work in action.”

Their Royal Highnesses are guests of the city and of The Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil, founded last year by philanthropist Christy Brown. The couple are visiting two cities — Washington D.C. and Louisville — during their U.S. trip March 17-20.

Prince Charles and Camilla on their official visit in Portugal at the Jeronimos MonasteryIn Louisville, they will attend a cultural festival at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage, where there will be agricultural displays and a discussion about local food. Louisville Orchestra Conductor Teddy Abrams has composed a special orchestral piece for Their Royal Highnesses that will be debuted at the event.

The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Neighborhood House in Portland and attend a reception for patrons and supporters of Brooke USA at Churchill Downs. The Brooke is an international animal welfare organization dedicated to improving the lives of working Horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world’s poorest communities.

The day before the Royal visit, a group of artists, big data analysts and citizen scientists will unveil a new art installation in downtown Louisville that makes invisible air pollution visible.

The Air Bare exhibit, to be unveiled 4 p.m. Thursday at 4th and Liberty, is an orange powder-coated steel kiosk with a touch screen display and bubbles to visualize Louisville’s air quality and show how it changes throughout the day. The display will show real-time levels of particulate matter and carbon monoxide in the air. Both pollutants have been linked to asthma and heart disease.

The art exhibit will include data from 25 sensors placed in four neighborhoods in the metro area. The six sensors that are currently online can be seen at louisvilleairmap.com (look for the orange dots and click on one to see the current air quality data).

This project is a collaboration that includes organizations from around the country:

  • ·     The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – The nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health;
  • ·     Creative Commons  – A non-profit that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools for developing the idea of a sensored city and leading the project.
  • ·     Urban Matter, Inc. –  A Brooklyn-based design studio
  • ·     Manylabs – A San Francisco non-profit working on sensor tools and education that produced the sensors tracking the air quality data.
  • ·     The Institute for Healthy Air Water and Soil – A Louisville non-profit working to connect the health of the environment with human health that sponsored the project.
  • ·     Propeller Health – Maker of a mobile platform for respiratory health management that contributed a data stream from sensors used in a pilot project.
  • ·     Perscio  – A big data consultancy that integrated the data feeds from the sensors in to the Louisville Air Map.
  • ·     IDEAS Louisville – Louisville’s Creative Chamber of Commerce for hosting ideation sessions for the project and facilitating local business relationships for artists to produce the work.
  • ·     Core Design – A Louisville metal fabrication company for constructing the kiosk that will hold the exhibit.

The project has also been supported by Rebecca Matheny at the Louisville Downtown Partnership, Sarah Lindgren, the city’s public art administrator, and philanthropist Christy Brown.