AIRNow-I Shanghai: Crossing Cultures, Sharing Knowledge
Thu, 11 Aug 2011
Sharon S. Dawes, G. Brian Burke, and Lei Zheng
AIRNow-International (AIRNow-I) is an initiative led by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesign the US air quality monitoring and public reporting system to be scalable, interoperable, portable, and affordable to any country. Its guiding vision is a readily usable worldwide platform for sharing air quality information to improve public health. This case study assesses the internationalization of AIRNow through the lens of a collaborative project between EPA and the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center (SEMC) in China. We trace the history of air quality policy and management in both countries and then explore the structure and dynamics of their joint effort to build AIRNow-I Shanghai. This report describes the influences of the separate Chinese and American contexts on the participants and their interactions, and identifies the ways in which they bridged many types of contextual distances to produce successful results.