Many cities and countries invest in air pollution monitoring systems. However, the benefits these systems generate depend critically on how the information that they collect is used by the public. For example, Bogotá, Colombia has a robust monitoring network of over 20 stations with hourly pollutant readings that are available online and through a smartphone application called AIRE BOGOTÁ. Yet the public does not regularly use this information to engage in protective “avoidance” behaviors that would reduce their exposure to air pollution and mitigate its related adverse health effects.
Our study will focus on the provision of air quality information through AIRE BOGOTÁ in the Bogotá metropolitan area, which has chronically poor air quality. We randomly assign participants to treatment and control groups at the level of baseline survey sessions. In baseline survey sessions, the treatment group receives information on air quality and air pollution avoidance behaviors. In addition, they are encouraged to download and install the AIRE BOGOTÁ application. The control group receives encouragement to download and install a placebo application unrelated to air quality. Between the baseline and midline survey sessions, both groups receive email encouragements to interact with the application downloaded in the baseline sessions and to complete a short online survey. We will study the impact of the AIRE BOGOTÁ application on avoidance behavior, environment attitudes captured by an implicit association test, environmental behaviors and policy preferences.