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FP7

CITI-SENSE Report Summary

Project reference: 308524
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT

Periodic Report Summary 2 - CITI-SENSE (Development of sensor-based Citizens' Observatory Community for improving quality of life in cities)

Project Context and Objectives:
The main objective of CITI-SENSE is to develop and test environmental monitoring and information systems based on innovative and novel Earth Observation capabilities and applications focused on the citizens’ immediate environment regarding urban air quality, environmental quality of urban public spaces and indoor air quality in schools.
To achieve this objective, CITI-SENSE is developing “Citizens’ Observatories” (COs) to enable empowering citizens to influence their community policy and decision-making. COs may be defined as the citizens’ own tools for observing and understanding of environment-related problems, and for reporting and commenting on them. This approach promotes citizens’ contributions towards active participation in environmental governance. In the COs, citizens will access real-time data about the environment locally and globally and share their own observations. The use of novel technologies, especially a variety of micro sensors and mobile applications, is supporting this approach.
Twenty-four individual COs across nine have been designed so far: 8 COs for outdoor air quality, 12 COs for indoor air quality in schools and 4 COs for personal comfort in public spaces. COs are active in Barcelona (ES), Belgrade (RS), Edinburgh (UK), Haifa (IL), Ljubljana (SI), Oslo (NO), Ostrava (CZ), Vienna (A) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES), all part of an umbrella CO portal that provides access to all project products.
The concept of CITI-SENSE rests on realizing the chain “sensors-platform-products-users” with the following elements: technologies for distributed monitoring (sensors); information and communication technologies (platform); information products and services (products); and citizen involvement in both monitoring and societal decisions (users). Novel aspects are:
• Deployment of sensor devices to monitor various environmental components;
• Innovative data fusion and scientific analysis
• Combination of new sensing technology, ICT Cloud platform with IoT, Big Data and App/Portal services and participatory methods, to create useful products and services.
Three Empowerment Initiatives (EIs) focus on combined environmental exposure and health associated with air quality, noise and thermal and visual qualities of public spaces and indoor air at schools. CITI-SENSE offers the following products and services:
• Air Quality (AQ) maps generated by applying new methods for spatial interpolation and visualization of environmental data
• Feedback on AQ perception using mobile applications and questionnaires
• Novel static and mobile AQ sensor platforms
• Local CO web portals to facilitate and promote public participation and engagement
• COs central web portal to facilitate access to the project products and services.
Development of participatory methods, data management strategies, and applications to facilitate exploitation of the data and information for policy and society are well in progress. As a result of these activities, the following impacts and added values will arise:
• Improved monitoring capabilities, including citizen based contributions
• Improved environmental monitoring systems
• GEOSS compatible data with open access
• Possibilities for citizens’ environmental behavioral change
• Improved urban eco-planning and environmental management with “social capital” from the public
• Increased environmental awareness and user participation in societal environmental decisions
• Systems for effective feedback on the impact that citizens have in decisions.
CITI-SENSE is operating within an open e-collaboration framework with projects funded under the same call. Common methodologies and standards for data archiving, discovery and access within the GEOSS framework will be coherent with initiatives such as GEO, INSPIRE and GMES. CITI-SENSE will make CO data available through the GEOSS infrastructure, and plans to create a joint GEOSS portal for COs together with other projects.

Project Results:
The project phases until M36 were:
(1) End-to-End prototype implementation and design of pilot studies
(2) Pilot study implementation and evaluation;
(3) Finalisation of methodology and tools towards the full implementation phase;
(4) Development of citizens’ observatories.
Outdoor environment (WP2)
WP2 developed and implemented case studies for testing the technical elements, and started engagement activities. The pilot studies were evaluated, and protocols for the full implementation were adapted based on the evaluation feedback. In the later months, stronger emphasis is placed on empowerment.
Public spaces (WP3a)
The pilot study was carried out at the end of 2014. The full implementation phase started at the beginning of 2015. Evaluation is now in progress and dialogues were established with local authorities.
Indoor environment in schools (WP3b)
WP3b has carried out and evaluated pilot studies in four cities, providing schools with tools to monitor and understand indoor environment, and examining how these tools could assist different school related stakeholders to reach their aims for indoor environment. Off the shelf-sensors with less functionalities than planned were used when it turned out that own devices will not be available on time to fit the school schedule. Own sensor packs will be available for the full implementation, starting in late autumn 2015. The full implementation phase has been prepared and is carried out in 12 schools (4 locations).
Methods: Sensor platforms (WP8)
WP8 worked to improve sensor devices/platforms performance. Technical issues led to a definition of a new timeline for deliveries and reduction number of sensor platform providers for full implementation. Revised budget took into account communication and other costs that were not budgeted earlier. Repeated testing of the units, algorithm improvements and calibration were performed for both static and mobile sensor units for the full implementation.
Methods: end user products and citizens’ observatories (WP 7, 6, 4)
Technical specifications were developed for internal products and end user applications (mobile apps, data provision to GEOSS, citizens’ observatories web pages). Visualisation methods (WP6&7), user apps and widgets (WP6), web pages (WP4), and protocols and ontologies (WP7) were further improved to enable data flow cross-WPs from sensor-platform-product-user and for sharing data externally to GEOSS. Both, Citizens’ Observatories (COs) web portal and local web portals have been further developed by WP4 to share project products and link users.
Methods: empowerment (WP5)
WP5 and the location officers (LOs) worked in lose liaison. Fortnightly telecons guaranteed for an effective and timely communication. The pilot phase allowed both pilot studies and development of and full implementation protocols and methods from the empowerment and participation view. Cross-WPs working groups have been formed to ensure effective work on individual topics (e.g., uncertainty and risk communication). Co-operation with WP4 has also been fostered on further development of COs.
Dissemination (WP9)
CITI-SENSE used significant resources for scientific and popular dissemination. Highlights were participation in the Green Week 2014, scientific conferences and GEOSS related events, and co-organisation of the Open Conference “Citizens’ Observatories: Empowering European Society” together with the EC in December 2014. Work on the exploitation plan is ongoing.
Main results:
• Air Quality Perception mobile application
• Air Quality Perception long questionnaire
• Widgets and new methods for spatial interpolation and visualisation of environmental data (e.g., maps and air quality indices)
• Locations’ local and common central web portal (http://co.citi-sense.eu)
• Sensor kits/devices for distribution during the full implementation.

Potential Impact:
The main aim of all CITI-SENSE activities is to empower citizens to actively contribute to and participate in environmental governance. The following project outcomes will contribute to this aim:
• Mobile and web applications and widgets related to air quality, thermal comfort and noise, for citizens to become actively engaged in and contribute to environmental governance;
• Improved sensor devices and quality control/assurance procedures for sensor platform testing by users;
• Feedback on IT platforms and data flows that are GEOSS-compatible;
• Educational material for students aged 16-18 to perform investigations of their school and near-school environment;
• Checklists, questionnaires and other tools to help designing and implementing the process of engaging with citizens;
• Raised awareness in local authorities for participatory approaches;
• Raised awareness and inducement to changed behavior of citizens regarding environmental stewardship in their communities.
As a result of our empowerment activities, we expect the following additional impacts:
• Boost European competitiveness by promoting novel tools and applications for improved urban environmental quality;
• Stimulate participation of SMEs in the area of environmental technologies by removing technology and knowledge barriers to sensor resource provision and providing standard based platforms from which SMEs can exploit data feeds and services to innovate and develop new applications and services;
• Provide support for evidence-based decision making for EU policies in the field of environment, including support for the Resource Efficiency initiative;
• Strengthen the GEOSS initiative by helping establish common methodologies and standards for data archiving, discovery and access within the GEOSS framework, including contributing citizen sourced information to the INSPIRE initiative;
• Mutual learning: Feedback on the impact that citizens had in decisions, on stakeholder and citizen interaction in the local community, on citizens to learning from each other within the same community and from other communities or countries, and the CITI-SENSE team as a learning organization;
• Improvement of urban eco-planning and environmental management as result of successful empowerment initiatives and the dialogue between citizens and local stakeholders.

In addition, CITI-SENSE develops novel technological solutions, especially a variety of micro sensors and mobile applications, for the use within the “Citizens’ Observatories”. This requires the following novel aspects in the chain “sensor-platform-product-users”:
• High technology environmental sensors, data fusion algorithms and communication paired with scientific analysis and efficient dialogue with users including the public;
• Deployment of static (fixed) and mobile (personal) sensors to monitor various environmental components;
• Combination of new sensing technology, ICT platforms and participatory methods into useful products.
The services and products that we expect to result from CITI-SENSE are listed below:
• Support to participatory sensing as a new mode of data collection;
• GEOSS compatible data;
• Environmental information tools to support the empowerment process within Citizens’ Observatories;
• Relate project data to other data sources to extend the data repository with open access;
• Enable volunteered geographic information to promote the creation of open access maps;
• Data and environmental information tools tailored to meet the needs of the users on empowerment;
• Input from the public to environmental governance as a result of successful empowerment initiatives.
As a result of our project developments, a number of technologies/products will be commercially exploited. A common exploitation strategy will be compiled at the end of the project (M42).

List of Websites:
http://citi-sense.eu

Contact

Bartonova, Alena (Senior scientist)
Tel.: +4763898152
Fax: +4763898050
E-mail
Record Number: 182498 / Last updated on: 2016-05-19
Information source: SESAM