Symposium Clean Air on December 21st during 3FM Serious Request

This year’s theme of the popular radio challenge 3FM Serious Request is to pay attention to the 900.000 death among children between 0 and 5 years of age because of lung infection. It is one of the most serious causes of death among this group of people, more still than hiv, malaria, aids or measles. The location this year is the city of Breda.

Together with the local Avans University AiREAS already conducts participative learning programs with international students to help develop their awareness and active knowledge development on air quality and health as a core value through real measurement, interpretation and communication programs. Avans organizes this Symposium on Clean Air and invited AiREAS to also speak about the new smart ways to develop cities by using air quality and health as triggers for local innovative initiatives and developing the direct and productive involvement of policy makers, citizens, innovative entrepreneurs and educators such as Avans. Here you find the announcement Avans sent out today:


Wednesday, December 21st,  from 10:00 to 15:00 hrs
Avans Hogeschool
Lovensdijkstraat 61
4818 AJ  Breda

With speakers from the Dutch LongFonds, AIREAS and the University of Antwerp

The symposium ‘Clean Air’ is one of the central activities which will be held as part of the Avans Glazen School. During the symposium various speakers will highlight different aspects of clean and healthy air. For example, odor pollution and ‘electronic noses’, the benefits of strawberry plans to improve air quality and the dilemma of economic progress versus livability will be presented and discussed. The symposium is organised by the Environmental Science department of the Avans University of Applied Sciences.

The symposium will be conducted in English. You can register through this link

The entry fee for the symposium is 10 euros (5 euros for students), which will be donated to Serious Request.
The symposium does not include a lunch. Lunch is available in the Glass School. Revenues for this lunch are also entirely donated to Serious Request.


The city of Breda has partnered with AiREAS as second city in Brabant already for over 1 year to develop health and healthy air as part of their policy and joined development program. We look specificially at heat stress as main trigger for innovation (as we already do a fine maze human exposure measurement program in partner city Eindhoven).using 3 AiREAS measurement stations in town.


Global Health Deal

On Juli 22nd the Brabant Health Deal was signed at government level covering a territory of 2.5 million citizens. It is a significant evolutionary step in regional development, experimentally initiated by AiREAS (multidisciplinary healthy city cooperative) in 2011, making core human values lead the innovative discours rather than economic growth. After five years of cocreation sufficient proof of concept was provided to gain the trust of political-economic governance that investment in quality of life delivers local wellness, productivity, bureaucratic savings and a new innovative impulse for economic growth. Economic growth is hence a positive consequence when it is not the primary goal.

This deal is our own motivation to invite the rest of the world to participate in a Global Health Deal.

Health is a core leadership responsibility
Health is an abstract given that only seems to concern us when it is absent. Nevertheless, when we observe nature we find that the evolution of lifeforms is based on health. Everything that is not healthy eventually disappears to be replaced by something else that is healthy again. The human being has difficulties in dealing with abstractions that belong to our core evolutionary responsibilities. As a self-aware species we tend to use our wit and creativity primarily for self fulfillment in a competitive world. This was OK as long as our surrounding nature and corresponding lifeforms were big enough to cope with the collateral damage caused by the destructive human species. Now, with a consumer, capitalist lifestyle and 7 billion members of our species we have reached a point of mass destruction of life on Earth, including our own. Our competitive nature of greed reverts against ourselves through pollution, shortages, climate change, disasters and diseases. The system that produced our wealth is now producing our pains. Awareness driven change has become a choice, continue with the destruction or contribute to sustainable evolution. The key word becomes this abstract natural core value referred to as Health.

AiREAS India

We are confronted for the first time with our individual and collective leadership choice. Continue with mass extinction up to eliminating ourselves? Or use our wit and creativity for health driven evolutionary progress as a species.

STIR Foundation and AiREAS
In 2009 the STIR Foundation announced its research commitment to establish a society based on the core natural values for stable and progressive human communities: Health, safety, cocreative local resilience, awareness and the basic daily needs (food, water, air). Sustainocracy became an experimental operational fact in which the core values lead and the 4 pillars of society (local government, science, innovative entrepreneurship, civilian social innovation) take responsibility together to establish priorities for project driven compliance through complex innovative change. In 2011 AiREAS was founded to cocreate healthy regions from air quality perspective using the sustainocratic framework. This short film shows the impact of such multidisciplinary cocreation in which regional health (mental, physical, environmental) is the driver and economic growth a consequence.

Brabant Health Deal
With the experimental efforts in STIR and AiREAS a new societal movement became our new reality in response to the known global and local issues and threats of pollution, lifestyle, shortages, global warming, etc. In 2015 it received the European Innovation Award and was accredited peer 4 awareness driven regional development. On Juli 22 2016 this resulted in the political-economic signing of the Brabant Health Deal at provincial governance level in Holland. For the first time the regional government executives of 5 mayor local cities and a province with 2.5 million civilians committed to making “health” leading in their policy discussions and decision making for territorial development. In this short film (mainly in Dutch) the stakeholders reconfirm their commitment with AiREAS in the core of their statement. AiREAS had started as a civilian invitation to cocreate healthy cities and regions for our own civilian benefit, together with our institutional authorities and expertise. It had grown into an association of leadership in a human executive world of transition towards sustainable human, ecological and economic resilience.

The Global Health Deal
The Euro-commissionar in the film hopes that this Health Deal becomes a source of inspiration for all regions in the world. We don’t only second this motion as AiREAS pioneers with a global commitment. We also make our expertise available for all the regions that want to start their own local Health Deal with multidisciplinary commitment.

Download here our GlobalHealthDeal proposition, the same way as we helped provide the fundament for the Brabant Health Deal. We continu with our permanent innovation platform around our health driven dynamic clustering of a great diversity of expert partners in complex regional development.

Jean-Paul Close
Founder of STIR
Co-Founder of AiREAS

How do others do it? Fort Collins, Colorado

We like to see ourselves in Eindhoven (Netherlands) as leading in self aware innovation, inclusing our multidisciplinary commitment to core human values. But we are not the only ones who project initiatives around quality of life and a healthy relationship with our environment. It is a source of inspiration to look at the way other regions/cities deal with their perception of sustainable human progress and eminent issues for local resilience. We like to special pay attention to Small Giants, communities of up to about 150.000 residents. These seem to be very much more inclined to address sustainability from a human evolutionary perspective than large metropoles and even develop their city identity and economic wellness around it.

Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.

By chance our attention was drawn to this mid sized community (151.000 residents) in the United States. Fort Collins in Colorado states that it is possibly the first community in the States that has grouped the departments of economic health. environmental services and social sustainability under one umbrella – the “Sustainability Services Area”. With this the city’s executives seek interaction with their population calling it the “triple bottom-up”. Have a look at this nice short introduction of a town that calls itself “the best place to live” in America. You can judge her for yourself:

On the site of this town we encounter some videos that deal with tips for the improvement of the local air quality. They have for instance a busy train trail that often causes traffic jams. The tip is to switch off the car engine when the wait is longer than 30 seconds. Others refer to Fort Collins as a success story:

Despite a proactive attitude things are not at all that easy as we can tell from the report that the city issues. Several high risk facors are mentioned that need serious attention. Awareness is the first step to do something about it, if at all possible in view of the complexity of certain issues. The human core values of healthy air and availability of drinking water are issues that are in jeopardy due to human activities and climat change. It is nice to see how transparant this is being communicated…. Download here the report . I have not found attention in the fields of local food resilience and safety but in the field of energy transition and innovation plenty is done. Information reaches us that such responsibilities are divided by the city and the county, in this case the Larimer County. The food bank project is an example.

The demographic position of the town shows all kinds of influences from outside the city that people are confronted with. This also determines the mentality with which different instancies deal with the perceived reality. Expertise has been gathered for instance on Radon. The researcher is Leo Moorman, a Dutchman who is now entrepreneurial self employed, expert in this field of work. He shows us that also elsewhere in the world the radium in the ground or present in building materials can effect our health.

Finally some interesting remarks:

The attention for quality of life in Fort Collins is very attractive, so much even that a direct link is made with its economic wellness. With an unemployment figure of 3,9% it belongs to the most productive communities of America.

The number 1 tip of Fort Collins for a healthier environment is: 1. Teleworking
Save time and money by working from home. Check to see if your employer has teleworking options. Teleworking helps reduce traffic congestion and pollution, not to mention office politics! Contact the City’s SmartTrips office to receive a free teleworking kit that will help guide you and your employer through the process of establishing a complete telework program.”

The monthly salary of the Mayor is ….. 1141$….


Airport related measurements started

Airport Eindhoven closed for 2 week in order to re-tarmac the landing strip. This is an ideal opportunity for AiREAS to measure the difference of environmental impact when the airport is operational and when not. Those measurements started today in the field of ultrafinedust (Technological partner Oxility).


Inside the box


The nanotracer measure UFP


The equipment installed in the city of Best

Onderzoek gebieden Airport

The map that shows the measurement effort related to the airport

The measurements are done to define and support a more definite infrastructure that will monitor air quality in the entire region, similar to the finemaze, near realtime network we have in the city of Eindhoven. Due to the diversity of polluting agents in the broader scope of the region (intensive catle keeping, agricultural issues, airport, traffic, household pollution, etc) we also need to see how different measurement techiques and sensors work together in providing data for full regional air quality and exposure interpretation. The fact that the airport is closed should give us some insight without the influence of civil and military air traffic. We measure UFP, NO2, Ozone, noise, humidity, temperature and relate to wind direction and climate.

Animations and explanation firework peaks Eindhoven 2015-2016

Again our partner Scapeler made animations of the air pollution measurements in Eindhoven during the fireworks tradition around newyear.

The animations are projected over town and one needs to know the layout of the city in order to zoom into specifics if interested. Here is the city map without animation:

For orientation purpose

For orientation purpose

You see the inner ring that surrounds the city´s center and the C shape motorways that border the outer limits of the city. All but one Airbox (this one is used for background measurement outside town) is locatied within this C. The network of 35 Airboxes is configured to get an as good as possible view of the human exposure to pollution.

Pollution measured in all Airboxes is PM 1, PM 2.5, PM 10. We also measure UFP (ultrafinedust) on 6 locations but no city representative video can be made of this. To get an idea of the size of particulate matter in microns we use this picture:

Using the thickness of a human hair as reference

Using the thickness of a human hair as reference

PM 1, 2.5 and 10 together this newyears eve:

Interesting to see the differences with last years animation. The differences are caused by weather type and changes in firework usages.

2014/2015 animation to compare:

This year Scapeler also made specific animations of the particle sizes:

PM 1: invisible for the human eye and cause of multiple disfunctions due to disturbing our cells causing infections, cancer and even genetic disorder.

PM 2.5: See the picture with the human hair

PM 10: Also refering to the picture

Interesting to observe is that different peaks occur at various moments that may be unexpected. That is because of individuals and groups that become active when they choose to do so. We measure at the same time the pollution coming from traffic and woodstoves. The `strange` peaks are therefore mostly found along the inner ring.

Video description of healthy city phase 2

When we want to explain to people what we do in AiREAS `healthy city cocreation effort` than it is often found complex, abstract or difficult to understand. The same goes for members of the AiREAS team that want to involve policy makers or need to justify their investment in time, money and effort to the hierarchy in which they work. Phase 1 was relatively simple to explain because it consisted in the design and development of a network of airboxes that measure the air pollution in town. The result can be seen and touched.

But phase 2 is an attempt to involve the citizens in their own health and lifestyle development including their exposure to air pollution. We not only measure the effect of pollution on their health but also the way the awareness of air pollution helps them to change patterns in their own life that improve their quality of life. That´s much more difficult to visualize. That´s why we made short video of the process.