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Development of sensor-based Citizens’ Observatory Community for improving quality of life in cities (CITI-SENSE)

Project details

Website: https://co.citi-sense.eu/

Status: Concluded

Project period: 2012–2016

Principal: EU (308524)

Coordinating institution: NILU

The CITI-SENSE project developed and tested components of environmental monitoring and information systems based on innovative and novel Earth Observation capabilities. The applications focused on the citizens’ immediate environment regarding urban air quality, environmental quality of urban public spaces and indoor air quality in schools.

The CITI-SENSE approach was to develop “Citizens’ Observatories” (COs), a collaborative concept that focuses on the empowerment of citizens to influence their community policy and decision-making. Several novel technologies, especially a variety of micro sensors, mobile applications and communication solutions, enabled this approach technically.

The concept of CITI-SENSE citizen observatories rested 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). The main novel contributions were:

  • Studies of motivations and barriers to citizen involvement with environmental decision making
  • Development of tools for citizens monitoring of urban environment
  • Deployment of low-cost micro sensor devices and innovative data fusion and scientific analyses
  • Combining new sensing technology, ICT Cloud platform with IoT, Big Data and App/Portal services and participatory methods in products and services.

To demonstrate the CO concept and capabilities, we established and for over six months, operated the largest ever sensor network for air quality comprising of 324 units deployed across Europe. We involved nearly 400 volunteers in nine cities to test our personal monitoring devices. We established 24 individual COs (8 COs for outdoor air quality, 12 COs for indoor air quality in schools and 4 COs for personal comfort in public spaces) in the following nine cities across Europe: Barcelona (ES), Belgrade (RS), Edinburgh (UK), Haifa (IL), Ljubljana (SI), Oslo (NO), Ostrava (CZ), Vienna (A) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (ES). We involved volunteers in co-development of sensor devices, visualisation solutions and other tools used in the project. Our air perception app was downloaded and actively used by more than 1200 persons. With the help of the sensor network and additional observation tools, we collected more than 9.4 million observations in the last year of the project.

In any decisions, people need to be in focus. We developed and applied participatory methods for each individual CO. We collected citizens’ feedback on environmental issues through evaluation questionnaires and in-depth focus group discussions and interviews. We have also collected feedback on our tools and services. The results have also helped the tools’ providers to improve their products and we can provide a list of lessons learned to support similar initiatives within Citizens’ Observatories and Citizen Science. The resulting products and services are available through the Citizens’ Observatories Web Portal (http://co.citi-sense.eu).

CITI-SENSE operated within an open e-collaboration framework with projects funded under the same call. Methodologies and standards for data archiving, discovery and access within the GEOSS framework were coherent with initiatives such as GEO, INSPIRE and GMES. CITI-SENSE also made CO information available through the GEOSS infrastructure.

NILU was the project coordinator and WP lead for Citizens’ Observatories. NILU led the CO on air quality in Oslo and the CO on indoor climate in schools.

Utvalgte publikasjoner før 2018:

Oslo Citizens’ Observatory. Results from the Oslo Empowerment Initiative as part of the CITI-SENSE project.

Castell, N. & Grossberndt, S.

CITI-SENSE. Final report on methodology. Deliverable 6.4, Work Package 6.

Fredriksen, M., Bartonova, A., Kruzevic, Z., Kobernus, M., Liu, H.-Y., Santiago, L., Schneider, P., & Tamilin, A.

CITI-SENSE. Citizens’ observatories – version 1. Deliverable D4.3.

Liu, H.-Y. (Ed.) Bartonova, A., Berre, A., Broday, D., Castell, N., Cole-Hunter, T., Fredriksen, M.F., Grossberndt, S., Høiskar, B.A., Holøs, S.B., Kobernus, M., Keune, H., Liu, H.-Y., Robinson, J., Santiago, L., & Soloaga, I..A.

Updated: 17.09.2021

Development of sensor-based Citizens’ Observatory Community for improving quality of life in cities has 21 publications at NILU:

Low-Processing Data Enrichment and Calibration for PM2.5 Low-Cost Sensors

Stojanović, Danka B.; Kleut, Duška N.; Davidović, Miloš D.; De Vito, Saverio; Jovasević-Stojanović, Milena V.; Bartonova, Alena; Lepioufle, Jean-Marie


Public Perception of Urban Air Quality Using Volunteered Geographic Information Services

Grossberndt, Sonja; Schneider, Philipp; Liu, Hai-Ying; Fredriksen, Mirjam; Castell, Nuria; Syropoulou, Panagiota; Bartonova, Alena


On the robustness of field calibration for smart air quality monitors

De Vito, Saverio; Esposito, Elena; Castell, Nuria; Schneider, Philipp; Bartonova, Alena


Measurements of Oxidative Potential of Particulate Matter at Belgrade Tunnel; Comparison of BPEAnit, DTT and DCFH Assay

Jovanovic, Maja; Savic, Jasmina; Salimi, Farhad; Stevanovic, Svetlana; Brown, Reece A.; Jovasevic-Stojanovic, Milena; Manojlovic, Dragan; Bartonova, Alena; Bottle, Steven; Ristovski, Zoran


Opportunities and barriers for microsensor systems for air quality: practical experiences from Oslo

Bartonova, Alena; Castell, Nuria; Schneider, Philipp; Dauge, Franck Rene; Grossberndt, Sonja; Lepioufle, Jean-Marie; Liu, Hai-Ying; Fredriksen, Mirjam; Høiskar, Britt Ann Kåstad


Air pollution: can subjective perception be related to objective measures?

Bartonova, Alena; Grossberndt, Sonja; Castell, Nuria


Citizens and sensors for air quality. NILU’s activities 2012-2019.

Bartonova, Alena; Castell, Nuria; Dauge, Franck Rene; Fredriksen, Mirjam; Grossberndt, Sonja; Liu, Hai-Ying; Schneider, Philipp


Urban Air Quality Perception

Grossberndt, Sonja; Castell, Nuria; Fredriksen, Mirjam; Schneider, Philipp; Bartonova, Alena


Using low-cost air quality sensors for personal exposure assessment

Schneider, Philipp; Castell, Nuria; Bartonova, Alena


Mapping urban air quality using a network of low-cost sensors: A data assimilation approach

Schneider, Philipp; Castell, Nuria; Bartonova, Alena; Lahoz, William A.


Assessment of air quality microsensors versus reference methods: The EuNetAir Joint Exercise – Part II

Borrego, Carlos; Ginja, Joao; Coutinho, Miguel; Ribeiro, Clara; Karatzas, Kostas; Sioumis, Th.; Katsifarakis, Nikos; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos; De Vito, Saverio; Esposito, Elena; Salvato, Maria; Smith, Paul D.; Andre, Nicolas; Gerard, Pierre; Francis, Laurent Alain; Castell, Nuria; Schneider, Philipp; Viana, Mar; Minguillón, María Cruz; Reimringer, Wolfhard; Otjes, Rene; von Sicard, Oliver; Pohle, Roland; Elen, Bart; Suriano, Domenico; Pfister, Valerio; Prato, Mario; Dipinto, S.; Penza, Michèle


Assessing the Relocation Robustness of on Field Calibrations for Air Quality Monitoring Devices

Esposito, E; Salvato, M; De Vito, S.; Fattoruso, G; Castell, Nuria; Karatzas, K.; Francia, G Di


Applications of low-cost sensing technologies for air quality monitoring and exposure assessment: How far have they gone?

Morawska, Lidia; Thai, Phong K.; Liu, Xiaoting; Asumadu-Sakyi, Akwasi; Ayoko, Godwin; Bartonova, Alena; Bedini, Andrea; Chai, Fahe; Christensen, Bryce; Dunbabin, Matthew; Gao, Jian; Hagler, Gayle S. W.; Jayaratne, Rohan; Kumar, Prashant; Lau, Alexis K. H.; Louie, Peter K. K.; Mazaheri, Mandana; Ning, Zhi; Motta, Nunzio; Mullins, Ben; Rahman, Md Mahmudur; Ristovski, Zoran; Shafiei, Mahnaz; Tjondronegoro, Dian; Westerdahl, Dane; Williams, Ron


CITI-SENSE Citizens’ Observatories Architecture

Liu, Hai-Ying; Berre, Arne- Jørgen; Kobernus, Michael John; Fredriksen, Mirjam; Rombouts, Richard; Tamlin, Andrei; Cole-Hunter, Tom; Santiago, Leonardo; Bartonova, Alena


A network of low-cost air quality sensors and its use for mapping urban air quality

Schneider, Philipp; Castell, Nuria; Dauge, Franck Rene; Vogt, Matthias; Lahoz, William A.; Bartonova, Alena


Localized real-time information on outdoor air quality at kindergartens in Oslo, Norway using low-cost sensor nodes

Castell, Nuria; Schneider, Philipp; Grossberndt, Sonja; Fredriksen, Mirjam; Sousa Santos, Gabriela; Vogt, Matthias; Bartonova, Alena


Node-to-node field calibration of wireless distributed air pollution sensor network

Kizel, Fadi; Etzion, Yael; Shafran-Nathan, Rakefet; Levy, Ilan; Fishbain, Barak; Bartonova, Alena; Broday, David M.