iSCAPE, Horizon 2020-project, combats air pollution with help of citizens Oct 08, 2017
The European research project ‘iSCAPE’ outlined citizens’ participation to combat air pollution in six, European cities during an inspiring three-day meeting in Hasselt from October 3 to 5, 2017. The iSCAPE-project aims to improve the air quality in European cities and to reduce their carbon footprint.
The three-day meeting of iSCAPE, hosted by the Transportation Research Institute (Hasselt University), brought together more than 30 participants from fourteen different universities, including an advisory board member of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). “During this meeting, we presented the results of the iSCAPE pilot study in Hasselt”, said Dr Muhammad Adnan (IMOB, Hasselt University). IMOB asked the citizens of Hasselt to contribute to improve the air quality in their city. The citizens of Hasselt were expected to record every trip (e.g. to the bakery) with their smartphone and to continue doing this for at least three weeks. “We will conduct the same study in five other European cities: Bologna, Dublin, Guilford, Bottrop and Vantaa. In order to ensure a smooth continuation of the study in these cities and to guarantee the same method approach, the study in Hasselt was discussed in detail during this meeting.” Furthermore, the project partners discussed the project’s progress, finalized the planning for the upcoming six months and shared views and opinions towards the next steps.
Prof. Dr Davy Janssens (IMOB, Hasselt University) also invited Benjamin Bergmans of the Institute Scientifique de Service Public (ISSeP, Liège) to the meeting. “He introduced the latest technologies and research trends for air quality monitoring and modelling within Belgium. He explained the procedure through which information regarding air pollutants are collected using a country-wide network of more than 100 sensors, and displayed air pollution almost in real-time through concentration maps for entire Belgium.”
iSCAPE, a Horizon 2020-project, aims to reduce the carbon footprint of European cities and thus to improve the air quality. As cities account for roughly 70 percent of global carbon emissions, they are crucial in the fight against climate change. “We will develop passive air remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives to control the air quality and carbon emissions in European cities”, said Dr Francesco Pilla (University College Dublin), coordinator of this project. iSCAPE starts from the concept of smart cities. “Smart cities seek to tackle common urban challenges such as environmental pollution and engage citizens in order to achieve their goal.”
This project has received funding from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 689954. iSCAPE has now completed its first year and will conclude in 2019.