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Deployment and testing of lower-cost ambient air quality sensor systems in urban environment

Project

The ‘sensEURcity’ project was launched because measurements from cheaper (low cost) air quality sensors are still too unreliable and data quality is insufficiently known. With this project, the Directorate-General of the European Joint Research Centre (DG JRC), with funding from the Directorate-General for Environment, aims to help evaluate the performance and potential of low-cost sensor systems for air quality and make comparisons with conventional measurement methods.

Development of Environmental performance and Climate Impact indicators for the Assessment of Sustainability

Project

The DECIAS project is aimed at developing a modelling toolbox for environmental sustainability assessment based upon Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), dynamic Material Flow Analysis (MFA), and multiregional Input Output Analysis (MRIO).

The production, trade, and consumption of goods and services leads to significant impacts on the climate, environment and human health. The adoption of technological innovations or policies and measures targeting sustainable development can be aided by a systemic sustainability assessment that checks that actions are economically sound and do not come at increased environmental and social cost compared to the present situation. In fact, for many actions it is often possible to identify co-benefits across a range of economic, environmental and social indicators.

The DECIAS project aims to develop a multidisciplinary modeling framework and toolbox to better understand environmental impacts driven by economic activity and consumption. The framework will be based on Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and multiregional Input-Output (MRIO) assessment. It captures the release of pollutants from human activities through the entire life cycle of materials, and leverages NILU’s experience in modelling pollutant transport through the environment.

Results will enable the comparative assessment of innovations, policies and measures for a transition to a green and circular economy, by estimating the associated social, environmental and climate costs and benefits.

The framework and tools will be developed through a series of case studies to test and demonstrate proof-of-concept. The project will focus on identifying impacts related to the cross-cutting topic climate-energy-land-water signified by UN SDGs 6, 7, 13, 14, 15 and relate to SDGs 3 on health and 12 on sustainable consumption and production.

[caption id="attachment_14339" align="alignnone" width="1024"]Figure illustrating the life cycle Life cycle[/caption]

Sustainable Urban Development

Project

This strategic institute initiative project (SIS project) is designed in a close collaboration between NILU and NIVA with an overall objective to develop a methodological framework which can help with structure thinking and provide a systematic approach to the analysis of urban environmental sustainability.

The methodological framework will be developed based on the EEA’s urban sustainability conceptual framework and linking to UN SDGs, e.g., including the city context, key enabling factors, urban lenses and building blocks for urban sustainable development.

The following key specific thematic topics and research questions will be addressed in the project:

Nature-based solutions

  • How to support cities towards more effective mitigation and adaptation to climate change?

Assessment of environmental contaminants in the urban environment

  • How does the composition of environmental contaminants in the urban environments change, e.g., as a result of urbanization, climate change and sustainable measures?

Behavioral change and citizen engagement

  • How to improve human behavior to minimize emissions and pollution exposure?

Well-being and health

  • How to improve health and well-being by innovative solutions in urban sustainable transitions?

The SIS-project has been broken down into the following three working groups (WG).

  • WG1 – Environmental contaminants
  • WG2 – Operationalization of UN SDGs & measurement of urban sustainability
  • WG3 – Assessment of municipal needs

The project results are expected to i) facilitate different forms of analysis and assessment of urban environmental sustainability that will help decision-makers to identify policy options and priorities; and ii) underpin and support a transition to urban environmental sustainability.

Innovativ administration of air and environment in Norwegian municipalities

Project

The iFLINK project shall facilitate for monitoring AQ at many different places at low costs. Scientists working in the project will develop and use new calibration and visualization methods based on machine learning and data fusion techniques to correct and improve data quality from the cheaper sensors. They shall also develop an open technology solution to obtain and quality secure data from different AQ sensors, so that municipalities and other users can obtain AQ data in satisfying quality.

Many municipalities in Norway would like to measure air quality (AQ) in their local environment and share this information with their citizens.

However, official monitoring stations are quite expensive in acquisition and maintenance, therefore only a limited number of these stations are set up in Norwegian municipalities.

As alternative, more simple and cheap air quality sensors could be used that are easier to buy from a range of manufacturers. The challenge for these kind of sensors is the relative high uncertainty around the quality of their data. In addition, they require good solutions for data communication and storage to be able to set together AQ information from a range of different sensors and thus get a good overview of the AQ situation in real time.

The iFLINK project shall facilitate for monitoring AQ at many different places at low costs. Scientists working in the project will develop and use new calibration and visualization methods based on machine learning and data fusion techniques to correct and improve data quality from the cheaper sensors. They shall also develop an open technology solution to obtain and quality secure data from different AQ sensors, so that municipalities and other users can obtain AQ data in satisfying quality.

The project idea is that anyone can use iFLINK results and technology to develop real time services connected to AQ, climate change and noise pollution. Municipalities are most important supporters and partners in the project, first pilots will be carried out in the participating municipalities Oslo (project lead), Bergen, Bærum, Drammen and Kristiansand.