Eindhoven: using sensors to improve urban air quality

The term urban data refers to digital data that are produced by all urban actors and that help identify new habits in cities. Axians is taking part in the AiREAS project in Eindhoven (Netherlands), which uses sensors to measure urban air quality in real time.

Eindhoven_texteThe City of Eindhoven in the Netherlands has taken the decision to install a unique network of connected sensors throughout the city to measure air quality in real time. “It’s a way of making the invisible visible”, explains Jan van de Bovenkamp, Manager Communications at Axians in the Netherlands, involved in this project known as AiREAS. The data are gathered using sensors mounted on traffic lights, and fed to a platform that gives councillors real-time information on pollution levels and temperature, and provides academics with the raw data they need to study the relationship between pollution levels and the development of certain illnesses.

Eindhoven residents have also been asked to cooperate directly in the project by wearing connected sensors for medical research purpose. “The key issue is the network used to process the data. Seeing how the data influences residents’ behaviour makes it possible to put in place the measures required to make cities more pleasant to live in”, explains Jan van de Bovenkamp. AiREAS is therefore an overarching project that involves doctors, engineers, researchers, politicians and citizens within a single open and cooperative structure. The specific skills of all the stakeholders are shared in order to achieve the common purpose of making their living environment more healthy in response to the increasingly asserted desire of citizens to live in healthier cities.

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