workshop air quality citizen initiatives

International workshop for neighborhood air quality measurements and social/societal innovation, including sensors and AiREAS networked citizen’s initiatives.

workshop AiREAS UK - Untitled Page

Carfree city as challenge for a 24 hour hackathon in Eindhoven

A hackathon is a venture in which anyone with creative interests can hack the city by using data and tools to come up with the most outrageous or useful innovative prototypes. The challenge formulated by AiREAS (Healthy city, air quality and city dynamics) is about future mobility:

The car has been the  biggest mistake in cities for many reasons. The only reason why we use the car is a perception of ease and comfort. Beyond the city the car has provides us individually with a sense of freedom and extended reach. Nowadays, with current levels of traffic jams, this freedom is only an illusion yet in cities the discomforts have always been accumulating and only justified by economic lobbies at the expense of environmental and health welbeing.

What is the alternative?



Biomass Eindhoven

AiREAS joined the visit of the biomass installation in Eindhoven by invitation of the civilian partners who had expressed their worries about the possible pollution comming from the wood burning facilities.

The visit was open and transparantly conducted by people of the local government. The facility was relatively unique in the South of the Netherlands. It uses many tons of wood particles that are shipped by truck to the installation and burned in a complex process to produce warm water and energy for about 3000 local households. The pollution had been caused during the startup when inefficiencies still occurred in the burning processes. Those had been largely solved producing an as clean as possible stream of energy.


Traffic management and air quality

AiREAS has been doing an experiment on integrating traffic management and measurement of air quality. From a technological point of view the integration is not that complicated but doing traffic management and human interaction makes it complex and subject to a diversity of criteria.In the end it was given a NO GO.

You can download here the report aireas-ilm-tms-1-1


The influence of AiREAS on polluting behavior?

Four years in a row AiREAS has measured and communicated openly about the air pollution related to fireworks in Eindhoven during the newyear’s eve celebrations of the city’s citizens. Various sources comment about the influence that this seems to have on our behavior, the air pollution, the apparent reduction of the intensity of fireworks and the related pollution patterns. This would surely be positive and a reassurance of the effort we put in this as a healthy city multidisciplinary cooperative in which many participate to improve the environmental quality within our living space.

This year’s air pollution can be observed through the timelaps created by our partner Scapeler on YouTube and reduced to GIFs for easy and fast observation.

Ultrafinedust: AiREAS in Eindhoven is probably the only place in the world where pollution is measured in near real time at the level of nano-particles. One of the four installed UFP systems was defect (shows hardly any motion in the video). The other three were functioning properly. In the city center UFP peaks were measured of up to 245.000 parts per cm3! In the suburbs the peaks were as high as 100.000 parts per cm3. For reference we use levels below 6000 parts per cm3 as “good”, even though the knowledge of ultrafine particles in relation to human health is still very limited. UFP is suspected to be a major health hazard, much bigger still than the larger pollutants such as PM 2.5 and 10.

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Ultrafinedust peaks measured in Eindhoven during Newyear’s Eve

Finedust: On about 30 locations throughout town we measure finedust (PM1, 2.5 and 10) in near real time (every 10 minutes). The timelaps shows a much slower start of the firework activities than other yeaes and a rapid elimination of the peaks. The weather was foggy with little wind. One would expect a longer delay for the reduction but the elimination of pollution registered was relatively fast compared to other years.

We notice a gradual change in behavior. Just compare the timelaps of this year and two years ago.

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2016 – 2017

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2014 – 2015

Eindhoven switches to 100% Electric public transport

Today the public transport system of Eindhoven switched its 43 bussen entire to electric! With this Eindhoven becomes the first European city to do this 100%. 

The Hermes bus company had to restructure its functioning and train its 550 chauffers. Driving electric requires totally new routines. Bussen can drive 3 hours between charging but a watch out is needed to assure that drivers don’t start their routes with improperly charged vehicles and return in time before running out of energy.
At AiREAS we hope to detect improvements in air quality and noises levels in town. Different theories go around about electric vehicles and pollution. What exactly the reality will show remains a question mark but with a fine maze measurement network in place we sure hope to be able to get some new insights over time that contribute to our healthy city objectives.