Smart Emission: Creating an environmental footprint

Header image: Smart Emission: Creating an environmental footprint

“Smart Emission” project is a current research project executed by a consortium of Dutch knowledge institutes, government, (ICT- and sensor) companies together with citizens in the city of Nijmegen. The goal of this project is to monitor, visualize and communicate a real-time, fine-grained “ environmental footprint ” of the city. For that reason, an innovative set of low-cost outdoor sensors and a related Open Geo Data infrastructure were developed. Simultaneously, a participatory process is organized to collaborate with citizens and consortium professionals with the shared purpose of “collective sense-making”. The future vision is to combine bottom-up and top-down communication and governance for the purpose of increasing urban health. The project consortium aims to innovate and learn about low-cost sensors, shared citizen science in an urban setting, and Open Data applications through standardizing the data models and dataflow (according to Inspire and OGC standards).

Research questions

Research questions: “Can we investigate citizen’s questions, called “use cases”, about urban pressures with help of the cost-effective organizational-technical setup of a citizen-sensor-network? Can citizens together with (air, noise, data) experts make sense of the sensor data, and for what purpose is the sensor data applicable? Can the big data collection be aggregated to form an accurate “big picture” of the urban environmental footprint?

Current state of the project

At this time, 34 sensors have been installed at people’s houses and gardens, and pilot-version portals for viewing data (called “viewers”) have been developed. The data streams are being calibrated and analysed- by citizens and professional analysts. Several “Smart Emission citizen participants” meetings have been held and several “use cases” have already been completed. The outcomes that are related with the reliability and the usefulness of the project are quite positive. While citizens and experts now have 24/7 data of their local environment in their own hands, the sensor network is still being improved and extended with more sensors. On October 3rd 2016, Smart Emission Project won the prize of the “Smartest Project 2016”.

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