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WeCount: Citizens Observing UrbaN Transport

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WeCount (WeCount: Citizens Observing UrbaN Transport)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-11-30

The overall objective of WeCount is to place the citizens central in the evidence gathering of local road transport systems, collecting traffic data with existing low-cost sensors (Telraam, iSCAPE) in a citizen science setting. WeCount wants to open up a new citizen science data source for local policy makers and the transport policy research community to ultimately build better local transport systems together. Collecting Traffic data is essential as a basis for any sensible transport policy and support of citizen is needed to implement changes in mobility management. In WeCount, citizens support both the evidence gathering as well as co-designing analysis and changes to mobility plans.
In WeCount, we have developed and improved the user-friendliness of a traffic counting sensor and open data platform and applied this in 5 citizen science pilots. We started with the first 2 pilots in the first year of the project, deploying a first batch of sensors in Leuven and Madrid/Barcelona in a gradual way. The 3 other cases have started at the beginning of the second year in the project. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, deployment has been delayed and more gradual, but the shift from face-to-face citizen engagement activities to an online/hybrid format has been implemented with considerable success, though COVID-19 is expected to be a challenge for the duration of the project.

Project output summary:
· The project has engaged directly with more than 1,000 citizens and stakeholders through workshops, seminars, mutual learning and science-policy dialogue workshops, as stipulated in the bid.
· A total of 368 citizen scientists from WeCount case studies directly engaged with the project over its 24-month duration.
· An estimated 230,000 people were engaged indirectly through social media and the project website.
· There were 11,085 visitors of the project website, and over 218,916 social media impressions.
· There was a nearly perfect split of males (51%) and females (49%) participants in the project. WeCount was able to attract a younger demographic than most citizen science projects with 29% of participants being younger than 16. This skew towards younger audiences reflects the effort of staff in reaching them when possible. WeCount citizens were highly educated (82% had a degree or above) which maybe a reflection of the online and digital conduct of the project due to COVID-19 restrictions.
· WeCount reached 16 schools across Europe and engaged with 305 school children.
· Across case studies a total of 52 events and workshops took place, most of these were online. These events and workshops engaged a total of 843 citizens across Europe (number is higher than WeCount members as some may have attended more than one workshop).
· Overall, citizens tended to enjoy the activities the project; 75% saw some improvement in their knowledge and almost half (48%) of citizens plan on using the data after the project ends.
· At the time of submission, 10% of participants had taken action and policymakers see huge added value in the project.
The deployment of autonomous traffic counting sensors in a citizen science setting, as a novel way to collect traffic data, has been demonstrated. The potential of the use of citizen science data and analysis for evidence-based policy is evident in all pilot cases, for different use cases (circulation plan, speed limit compliance,...). The collection of developed tools is expected to establish a durable ecosystem for citizen science traffic counting, so other cities/scientists can develop own, similar citizen science activities with WeCount produced resources. This is demonstrated by several stand-alone spin-off activities from WeCount. Apart from educating citizen about the field of traffic management based on traffic counting’s, we see analysis of the WeCount citizen science data is relevant for monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on traffic volumes, as we published in the Thinking Cities Magazine (
Assembling the Telraam device
Citizen workshop
Installed Telraam device