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Tuesday, 06 February 2018 10:53

People power toolkit download can tackle pollution

Residents affected by issues such as high levels of air pollution or noise nuisance often feel helpless and ignored, but now, using mobile phone apps and low cost open-source sensors, they are able to gather the facts they need to kick-start change.

'Citizen Sensing – A Toolkit' is a new guide that empowers citizens to become active in capturing, sharing and making sense of data on the local environment using low-cost sensors. By gathering evidence and raising awareness of the problems they face, citizens are able to organise an effective grassroots, community or local government response.

data toolkit citizen pollution2The publication is the culmination of Making Sense; a project led by University of Dundee in collaboration with several European partners and funded by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 programme.

Making Sense has already made significant real world environmental improvements. Project partners have spent the last 26 months empowering citizen sensing campaigns across 3 cities: Barcelona in Spain, Prishtina in Kosovo and Amsterdam in the Netherlands, using Citizen Science and Sensing to monitor their local environment.

Citizen Sensing – A Toolkit emerged during a booksprint hosted at University of Dundee, where all Making Sense partners joined the Dundee team for 3 days of intense working in October 2017.

data toolkit citizen pollution3 copySince then, the University of Dundee has led the production, delivery and publication of the book which will have an initial print run of 3,500 copies and available to download for free online. The guide includes case-studies, practical advice, and step-by-step guides.

Mel Woods, Reader in Creative Intelligence at University of Dundee comments: "The Making Sense project set out to address citizens' concerns about pollution by putting low-cost, open source technology in the hands of communities. However, we quickly learned that people do not just want a sensor, they want to show and evidence the problem of pollution, then make change happen.

"Now, with the Making Sense Toolkit we can support new communities, local authorities, health institutes, and grassroots organisations to create and sustain this legacy, it is critical to share this so others can also change their environment for the better."

http://making-sense.eu/publication_categories/toolkit/

Photos: ©Making Sense, University of Dundee