As part of a consortium of universities and research institutions, lead by Trinomics from The Netherlands, NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research has won a €6,7 million EU funded project to actively engage European citizens in 6 countries to research their personal impact on air quality and CO2 emissions, using specially made apps and games for smart phones.
CLAiR-City, the largest citizen-led air-quality project ever in Europe, kicks off at May 25th in Bristol, UK.
Play games, get cleaner air
Thousands of people across Europe will be invited to share their views on how to reduce air pollution and improve related public health in six pilot cities. Residents will use a specially created game on their smartphones, tablets and laptops to suggest how their home cities should develop in the future. The result will be directly translated in improved city policies.
The four-year CLAiR-City project, funded through the EU’s Horizon 2020 program, features 16 research partners including the pilot cities of Bristol (UK); Amsterdam (NL); Aveiro region (PT); Ljubljana (SI); Sosnowiec (PL) and the Liguria region (IT).
Understanding what causes air pollution
European and local authorities are struggling to combat air pollution, a problem responsible for the deaths of more than 400,000 people in Europe every year. Up to a third of Europeans living in cities are exposed to pollutant levels exceeding EU air quality standards, with approximately 90 per cent affected according to the World Health Organization’s more stringent guidelines. The project is aimed at creating a major shift in public understanding towards the causes of poor air quality – encouraging a focus on people’s everyday practices like commuting and shopping rather than technology and top-down approaches.
Dr Enda Hayes (UWE, Bristol), Technical Director of CLAiR-City, said: “Air quality management is failing in many cities around the world. This is an exciting and innovative project to try to address one of the key issues – how do you empower citizens to define their own solution?”
Senior scientist Svein Knudsen from NILU adds that it will be very interesting to see how the citizens engage in investigating their own behavior and their personal impact on their city, through the app and gaming activities.