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Citizen Science for Traffic and Air Pollution Monitoring
An EU funded 'citizen science' project that empowers citizens to take a leading role in measuring road traffic and air pollution in their neighbourhoods.
Good Health And Well-Being
Industry, Innovation And Infrastructure
Sustainable Cities And Communities
Challenge / Goal
Road traffic is at the core of a variety of societal problems ranging from road safety, air, noise, and light pollution, to public health risks and ultimately, to the very liveability of our communities. Obtaining reliable traffic counts is fundamental to understanding the complex relationships between these problems and road traffic, and to initiate policy changes that will address them. In the past, local authorities have relied on high cost, spatially and temporally restricted traffic counting techniques. The WeCount project has the opportunity to change the way traffic data is produced and to greatly improve data available on traffic with the help of local citizens.
WeCount, a European-wide project with participants from six cities (Dublin, Cardiff, Barcelona, Madrid, Leuven, and Ljubljana), is using citizen-centric data collection to change the way traffic data is being produced and utilised. Volunteer 'citizen scientists' from across the Dublin Region, including locals from Smart D8, Smart Balbriggan and Smart Docklands, are taking part. They have been equipped with low cost, automated road traffic counting sensors which have been deployed in their communities. These sensors are installed on participants’ windows to count cars, trucks, bicycles and pedestrians on local streets. The Dublic traffic data from the sensors can be viewed here.
WeCount aims to support:
Citizens: To empower citizens to use new technology such as sensors to collect data and evidence about their communities. This can enable citizens to shape and influence local policy decisions and initiatives, and also builds community knowledge on issues relating to our local environment.
Research: To use the traffic data collected to produce scientific knowledge in the field of mobility and environmental pollution. And to work with communities to design potential solutions to tackle road transport challenges.
Local Authorities: To share the traffic data with Local Authorities to help inform their transport planning and support data-driven decision-making.
University College Dublin organised workshops for local communities to discuss their concerns around traffic in their neighbourhoods and learn more about how to analyse traffic data.
Want to learn more about the lessons learned, financial details and results?