COMPAIR Citizen Science
for Cleaner Air
One in eight EU citizens are living in urban areas where air pollutant levels exceed EU air quality standards (European Environment Agency). The impact of poor air quality is far reaching on the environment and has disastrous impacts on animals, human health, and economic growth.
The difficulty in tackling poor air quality is that it is different everywhere. Road transport, households, and industry cause the most pollutants, which of course change and travel once airborne. As a result blanket policies and actions do not have the same effect everywhere. Even past policies intended to protect the environment have had negative consequences on air quality. Diesel cars for example, once promoted as environmentally friendly, turned out to be high polluters.
COMPAIR realises that more nuanced local actions and measures are needed to tackle the issue of poor air quality and climate change. If poor air quality is caused by human activity, then human behaviours must be changed. Yet while our behaviours often reflect our environmental beliefs, the connection is not always so direct. Behaviours depend on many other personal factors besides environmental beliefs, including ability, self-efficacy, financial resources, habit, and choice. Being told what to do is not enough.
COMPAIR approaches behaviour change from a capacity building standpoint, giving people the digital tools to model, understand and analyse their existing behaviours and empower them to choose their own path forwards, making changes they know will benefit them, their family, neighbours, and friends.
Citizen Science has the potential to change personal behaviours, influence city decision making and even contribute to achieving wider policy goals. Each volunteer citizen scientist can and will make a difference.
Citizens More Aware of Individual Actions and Behaviours
Taking part in COMPAIR experiments will help people to better understand their own environmental footprint within their neighbourhoods and city and explore what they can do personally to improve air quality. They will learn interesting new skills, from digital and analytical to co-creation and innovation, be able to drive effective evidence-based community change and have a voice with city decision-makers.
City Decision and Policy Makers Able to Act on Real Evidence
Policy makers will benefits from community insights into air pollution and have new sources of data that will help them make more informed environmental policy based on a blend of government, citizen science and commercial data sources. The citizen science experiments will help them work directly with citizens, better understand local issues and be more collaborative and creative in coming up with solutions to problems.
Businesses Able to Adopt Greener Processes in the Community
Businesses of any size are able to take part in the citizen science experiments. They can raise awareness about local issues in the community, take part in the experiments, host air quality sensors, provide insights into green practices and even use the open (anonymous) data and outcomes to better run their own operations and improve their carbon footprint.
Researchers Gain New Data Sources and Analysis Capabilities
Researchers help support citizen scientists in defining and creating experiments to tackle local issues. Their involvement helps ensure the collection and analysis of data in a way that meets research standards so it is reusable and trusted by experts for official research and policy making. Researchers benefit from faster gathering and analysis of data than they could achieve alone.
European Green Deal Policy Implemented Across Whole Urban Value Chain
The European Commission has adopted a set of proposals to make the EU's climate, energy, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Citizen science will help achieve these emission reductions and help Europe become the world's first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
Wider Policy and Societal Good Achieved Through Collaborative Efforts
Climate change is affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting economies and affecting lives. The United Nations have dedicated Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 to tackling climate change. Resulting research outcomes and data from COMPAIR will help towards wider knowledge sharing and action adoption by others across borders.