Desiring to delude myself into feeling better about Hong Kong’s air quality (currently at the red/high/unhealthy level), I started browsing air qualities in other cities. Viewing the air quality in say, Amsterdam or Seattle, was a total kill-joy. Viewing the average air quality in Shanghai or Beijing, however, encouraged me to take a long, deep breath of Hong Kong’s fresh grey air.
While Shanghai’s air quality is often worse than Hong Kong’s, Shanghai has done a knock-out job of humanizing its air quality index. The official Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center has mascot-ized its AQI with a little girl who either smiles in spring green or sobs in somber maroon, depending on current pollution levels:
Hong Kong’s index, by comparison, features a lobotomized, bald-head icon:
I ask Hong Kong:
As “Asia’s World City” what’s stopping us from besting our Shanghai rival by adopting a super cool pictorial AQI to track the damaging effects of the air we breathe?
I hereby propose that Hong Kong adopt the “Bruce Lee Air Quality Index:”
Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center (source of the crying girl AQI)
Hong Kong’s Official Air Quality Index
Official health guide that corresponds to Hong Kong’s new index (source of the colored heads)