Air Quality - "Sense and the City"

“Sense and The City” (STC) is an IoT-platform affixed to fleet vehicles, collecting daily air pollution levels across the city, and disseminating the data to cities and residents. STC has been developed by CommuniThings S.A, using FIWARE technology, thanks to the EU frontierCities accelerator programme.

The platform is currently undergoing a pilot project in Ixelles (Brussels), in collaboration with Proximus (leading mobile operator) for LoRa network connectivity, to evaluate the city air quality in a structured manner. Frequent measurements are taken from special devices installed on the town hall of Ixelles fleet vehicles in order to analyse precisely Ixelles’ air pollution levels.

CommuniThings’ STC solution also embarked on a second pilot in collaboration with the city of Antwerp and the Belgian post, which is facilitating their vehicles circulating in Antwerp to collect STC data, in the framework of the “City of Things” initiative.

The sensors measure the different polluting agents, NOX, fine particles and ozone, and to generate a daily “heat-map”. This is combined with a health‐impact recommendations service, to allow the town hall to develop and assess the effect of mobility plans based on a cost‐benefit analysis, while inducing commuters’ behavioural change.

The system is also coupled with a mobility app for citizens where cyclists and pedestrians can search their destination, receiving information on the fastest and healthiest itinerary. Thus, contributing to improving urban mobility and the quality of life of urban citizens.

Such technological development offers new possibilities to local communities to effectively answer growing environmental questions. Concrete examples of its impact include the possibility of alerting populations in real-time about peaks of pollution and at the same time to take faster decisions on redirecting or limiting car circulation and establishing no emission zones in cities.