Green solutions to lower urban air pollution – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

Air pollution is a important hazard variable for health in Europe. EU-funded investigate is encouraging to come across innovative, economical and eco-friendly options for strengthening air quality, especially in urban environments.


© iScape

It is estimated that air pollution triggers all-around 800 000 premature fatalities just about every 12 months in the EU by itself, and the greater part of us, in particular these living in towns, are often uncovered to air containing significant amounts of pollutants. For some time, the European Commission has been supporting the enhancement of innovative character-based mostly options aimed at cutting down the amounts of air pollution in urban areas, its objective staying to build a knock-on effect on the health of EU citizens.

The three-12 months EU-funded iSCAPE investigate project established out to come across innovative techniques to enhance air quality in European towns. The initially action in the six participating towns – Bologna (IT), Bottrop (DE), Dublin (IE), Guildford (Uk), Hasselt (BE) and Vantaa (FI) – was to establish a participative, bottom-up method based mostly on the Living Labs methodology created by the European Network of Living Labs. From here, they established out to measure air pollution, put into action eco-friendly options and validate their impression in near collaboration with a variety of companions, together with neighborhood authorities, faculties and citizen teams.

‘When we began seeking at the trouble, we realised that lots of actions carried out in the previous were not profitable because procedures were enforced from the top rated down devoid of involving the persons most directly concerned,’ suggests project coordinator Francesco Pilla from College Faculty Dublin, Eire. ‘We desired to seem at co-coming up with options with the typical community and a extensive variety of stakeholders and to use this possibility to elevate awareness and build purchase-in for the actions adopted.’

Obtaining options that perform

The iSCAPE project aimed to deal with the obstacle of cutting down urban air pollution and its impression on weather modify from two distinct angles. The initially concerned the enhancement and implementation of passive control  systems for air pollution, together with small boundary walls, trees and hedgerows, eco-friendly walls and roofs, photocatalytic coatings, eco-friendly urban areas and highway geometry interventions. Secondly, they released actions aimed at stimulating behavioural modify amid EU citizens – for instance, in their choice of transport (sustainable urban mobility) or through citizen involvement in the widespread monitoring of pollution amounts.

‘It is really hard to discuss air pollution with citizens because it is invisible,’ Pilla describes. ‘So we created small-price tag monitoring kits and applied them for citizen science activities, which was a very strong way to display that our interventions were doing work and to ultimately thrust this perform into policy. These kits can now be obtained at a small price tag as a immediate consequence of the project.’

iSCAPE provided apparent evidence and info to exhibit how eco-friendly infrastructure can be an powerful way to decrease publicity to air pollution. It demonstrated that, if correctly positioned, simple hedges mixed with trees can decrease publicity to particulate issue by as substantially as 50 % – which is very major.

The small-price tag, character-based mostly interventions released by the project have by now been integrated into the Recommendations for the Town of London and are in the system of staying adopted in Dublin. This speedy adoption into policy was served by the extensive-scale citizen involvement.

The project’s findings on the overall performance of photocatalytic coatings as a passive regulate process for air pollution in Bologna have been applied to create plans for broader-scale deployment in the port of Barcelona. This will be applied as a showcase for further deployments in ports throughout Spain and ultimately in Europe. 

In Dublin, iSCAPE trialled a Lego co-design and style workshop in primary faculties to elevate awareness amid young persons and support them to truly feel part of the solution. This was supported by the publication of a booklet for little ones detailing pollution. The acceptance of the initiative has led to these activities staying adopted more greatly now.

A extensive variety of resources created by the project are freely offered on the iSCAPE website, giving a quick and pragmatic overview of its effects which will be valuable for policymakers, neighborhood communities, business and citizen activists. They consist of open obtain paperwork on how to establish your personal sensors and how to analyse info.