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8 million Euros to air quality monitoring in Europe

Helsinki. Foto: Colourbox

The RI-URBANS project, aimed at improving the understanding and monitoring of air quality in Europe, receives 8 million Euros from the EU. NILU is a partner in the project, the other Norwegian partner is the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

The RI-URBANS project is funded by the European Commission, and will focus on nanoparticles and atmospheric particulate matter, their sizes, constituents, sources and gaseous precursors.  The project aims to provide advanced service tools from atmospheric research infrastructures to better assess the air quality in Europe.

RI-URBANS is coordinated by the Spanish Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA-CSIC) and the University of Helsinki (UHEL), and led by Xavier Querol (IDAEA-CSIC) and Tuukka Petäjä (UHEL). The project brings together eleven cities and twenty-eight partners across Europe in its objective of implementing advanced air quality monitoring observations in cities and industrial hotspots.

To pursue its strategy, RI-URBANS (which stands for Research Infrastructures Services Reinforcing Air Quality Monitoring Capacities in European Urban & Industrial AreaS) will, as mentioned above, focus on ambient nanoparticles and atmospheric particulate matter. They will also evaluate novel air quality parameters, source contributions, and their associated health effects to demonstrate the European added value of implementing such service tools.

“The project brings together local air quality monitoring networks and European Research infrastructures on atmospheric composition (ACTRIS and IAGOS). This allows two-way interaction to develop and pilot novel service tools and harmonize data streams in real city environments with a pan-European coverage” underlined professor and RI-URBANS coordinator Tuukka Petäjä.

RI-URBANS will also improve modelling and emission inventories for policy assessment and will implement five pilots in Athens, Barcelona, Birmingham, Bucharest, Helsinki, Milano, Paris, Rotterdam-Amsterdam, Zurich.


NILU has a central role in leading the work on curation and management of data. This includes developing a framework for managing the data in the project. In addition to developing new tools, the data management framework will take advantage of tools, services and know-how already existing in ACTRIS and IAGOS. The goal is to ensure long term open access to data and harmonized quality and data formats, making the data comparable with regional background sites across Europe and globally.


For more information, visit the project website in CORDIS or follow @RI_URBANS on Twitter and LinkedIn social media accounts.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101036245.