The awareness issue:
This weekend my brother was travelling from Holland to Spain. For fun we consulted Flightradar24 to see how many planes were in the sky that moment and where he would have to find his slot:
That volume of flights was on a Sunday (Arpril 11th,11 o’clock)! Our Dutch partner, TNO, published a paper end of 2014 after measuring ultrafinedust emissions of airoplanes taking off from Airport Schiphol. They arrived at the astonishing conclusion that one single take off was equivallent in pollution to a million trucks. Multiply this with the volume in the air as displayed and we become aware of the problem we created together.
Our English twitter contact tweeted that a new front of global air pollution would hit us later this week:
10 days ago Paris closed itself off for 50% of its usual traffic because of a huge peak of air pollution that hit Europe:
This seemed to be mainly caused, according published suggestions from Belgium, by massive springtime labour on uncultivated land in Europe causing dust and gases to be passed into the air due to ploughing and fertilizing. This shows us that the centuries of misusing our land for big horizontal harvests is causing part of our current pollution patterns.
Inspiring students and Hackathons
The combination of awareness building and open data is inspiring now groups of entrepreneurial students to come up with ideas. On April 2nd for instance 90 students in the field of persuasive communication and technologies of the Technical University of Eindhoven were challenged to pick existing applications for a review. Two teams decided to analyse the experimental App of AiREAS.
Their conclusions were pitched on the 2nd of April and we could look at analytical posters that summarized their findings. One of the posters can be downloaded here Final Poster HIT Projects. These teams are now invited to integrate their findings in the project driven activities of AiREAS to make their findings come true in practical reality.
This weekend during the Hackathon Eindhoven some 50 people looked at open data available in the city of Eindhoven to see what they could do with it. They came up with very interesting propositions that they pitched on sunday afternoon for a large public.
AiREAS presented its open data stream of near real time air quality measurements. To our surprise and happiness 3 out of 10 teams took on the challenge to do something with it.
One of those propositions, Healthy and Vital City, was selected and awarded the shared first price by the jury together with a project on Recycling waste by involving citizens. The next step is to see how the plans can be further worked out for implementation.
We see that education and entrepreneurship is picking up the inspiration offered by the STIR Foundation and its practical cooperations. The add very surprising insights and propositions to our own and hence create a beautiful new dynamics calibrated against health and environment as social-economic driver rather than other drivers of the past. We expect to see a growing tendency world wide which will eventually become new wave of applied knowledge and innovations for the benefit of all.