Skip to main content

Citizen Led Air pollution Reduction in Cities

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CLAiR-CITY (Citizen Led Air pollution Reduction in Cities)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2019-04-30

ClairCity is a Horizon 2020 funded project responding to the call ‘Improving the Air Quality and Reducing the Carbon Footprint of European Cities’ (SC5-4-2015). The project (2016-2020) is working across four cities and two regions in Europe to engage the public on a novel approach to understanding air pollution, carbon emissions and their impact on citizen health and well-being. ClairCity uses innovative modelling and quantitative analysis to examine the role of people and society in creating pollution. Core to the project are a set of citizen engagement tools that allow city residents to participate in understanding the problem and visioning the future.

Air pollution is linked to one in eight premature deaths worldwide. People living in cities are particularly affected, with 90% of urban residents exposed to harmful levels of air pollutants according to the World Health Organisation. While the effects of poor air quality are felt worldwide, the causes are usually local. Every day air pollution is caused by our commutes to work, by heating our homes or through our local industries. Solutions at a local level can therefore make a big difference.

Two decades of established emissions inventories and evolving modelling practices have led to attempts to reduce emissions predominantly through technical measures. These measures tend to target the manifestations of problems (e.g. air pollution from transport) rather than the cause (e.g. having to take kids to school). Atmospheric pollution is largely a consequence of society’s use of energy for accomplishing social practices whether it is for home heating, cooking, personal mobility or industrial production. To truly understand how to mitigate air pollution and reduce carbon in our cities, we need to understand what our cities use energy for and how end-uses are changing. Existing approaches to air quality and carbon management are designed to project forward from our current situation to achieve reductions in future years. Instead, ClairCity allows citizens to back cast from their own visions of a future desirable city in order to work out what is necessary to achieve such.

The overall objective of ClairCity is to integrate and quantify citizens’ behaviour and activities to enrich city policy-making in the fields of air quality and carbon emissions reduction. We are delivering this through the application of the latest social science thinking (WP3); immersive citizen engagement activities (WP4); high-quality modelling of activities, emissions, concentrations and health outcomes (WP5); and scenario development and policy recommendations for citizen-led air quality and carbon policy (WP6, WP7).
ClairCity has designed new approaches to the modelling of behaviour, activity and practices with regard to mobility and domestic energy consumption.

We have then asked citizens in six cities/regions across Europe (Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Bristol in the UK; Ljubljana in Slovenia; Sosnowiec in Poland; the Aveiro region in Portugal and the Liguria region in Italy) how they want their cities to function in the future. ClairCity has implemented activities across these cities (e.g. workshops, events, online surveys) to raise awareness and empower citizens and other stakeholders by giving them a platform to describe their personal future visions.

Other specific activities such as the schools competition with children or the filming of mobility experiences of the elderly have targeted the most vulnerable groups. The Skylines Game for mobile phones has allowed citizens of all ages to ‘play’ with policy making. The GreenANT App -meant to provide indicative pollution information for its users is ready for roll-out. The scenario framework designed provides the mechanism to capture and collate the citizen-led future scenarios (input for the final ClairCity Policy Package).

The model specifications to carry out the ClairCity quantification work have been developed and fine-tuned, to allow for a detailed assessment of the scenario packages for the cities/regions. The supporting structure to enable data flows between partners has also been put into place. Data has been collected for all six cities and the baseline simulations with the emission modules and the air quality assessment tool have been completed.

The ClairCity website, social media channels and communications products (infographics, visuals) shave enabled successful engagement of the team as well as recruitment and dissemination of citizens and other stakeholders. The project has also built links with 12 international members of the ClairCity External Advisory Board as well as several authorities and organisations that have become associated to the project.
•We set a target of engaging on average 6000 people in each pilot city/region. Although some of the citizen and stakeholder engagement activities have yet to be released in every case study city (e.g. Stakeholder Dialogue Workshop, Policy Workshop) we currently estimate that delivered processes (e.g. Delphi, Mutual Learning Workshops, Schools competition, filming activity) have engaged >6000 people to date. This does not include dissemination activities through the ClairCity website, Twitter, Facebook, presentations etc. which we estimate to have had >455,000 impressions across all our social media channels.

•Our innovative high-resolution geographical modelling approach has allowed us to quantify air quality and carbon impacts within and beyond the geopolitical boundaries of our city/region case studies.

•ClairCity has given citizens and stakeholders an individual and collective voice in their city’s future. Our Delphi process and the Skylines game have provided a platform to mobilise citizens; in addition the schools activity has targeted awareness-raising of the youngest groups, while the filming activity has engaged the elderly. The Mutual Learning Workshops have gathered experts (including business), and the Baseline Policy Analysis Interviews and Policy Workshops have collected policymakers' and politicians' views.

•There are also specific examples of impacts generated by the project across the case study cities. In Bristol for example, the Analysis and outputs from the Delphi Evaluation Report 4.4 were used to provide a ClairCity response to the Bristol City Council (BCC) Consultation on an emerging Bristol Transport Strategy. The analysis demonstrated that there is public support for the aspirations contained within the drat Bristol Transport Strategy. In addition, the analysis and output from the Delphi Evaluation Report 4.4 were included within the supporting documents for the emerging ‘Wider air quality action plan’ as evidence of public support for active and public transport development in the city. The innovative consultation methods employed and potentially wider reach than a standard public BCC consultation process helped add weight to the analysis. In Aveiro, ClairCity has contributed to raising awareness of citizens as well as policy makers around air pollution, in particular around the issue of mobility. Some Municipalities in the region, including the Municipality of Aveiro, expressed the need to update or elaborate mobility plans for the Municipalities, including the topic of soft mobility. In Sosnowiec ClairCity activities have helped motivate residents to participate in a project aimed to install renewable energy sources in residential buildings and houses.
ClairCity Skylines game screenshot
ClairCity project overview and Work Packages
ClairCity Skylines game screenshot
ClairCity Meeting in Amsterdam in November 2016
Film prize giving ceremony during Annual Meeting in Aveiro
The six ClairCity case study cities and regions
ClairCity citizen engagement activities in Bristol
ClairCity inforgraphics - What is air pollution & solutions
The ClairCity logo
Breakout discussions during the 1st ClairCity Annual Meeting
ClairCity Skylines game logo
ClairCity experts engagement at the Mutual Learning Workshop in Amsterdam
Plenary session during the 1st ClairCity Annual Meeting