Making Sense: from pilots to Citizen Sensing, a Toolkit!

Over the past two years, hundreds of local citizens have been actively engaged in citizen science all over Europe. With pride, the Making Sense team now officially presents the 'Citizen Sensing, a toolkit', which describes all methods, lessons and best practices.

The toolkit is a blueprint for policy makers, city makers and other actively involved citizens to facilitate community-driven data collection. Do you want to measure the local environment yourself? Would you like to work with local residents, experts and your local government? Or are you looking how you involve communities in a measurement campaign? The Citizen Sensing toolkit is now free for everyone to download and use.

In Prishtina (Kosovo), Barcelona and Amsterdam citizens were linked to air quality experts and Fab Labs during Making Sense. Open-source sensors were used to locally measure the quality of the living environment. By working together with different disciplines, measured results became more reliable and the impact increased. Now all lessons, methods and tools are combined in one toolkit.

Download a free copy (pdf)

Waag has been an active accelerator of citizen science for many of years. The Smart Citizens Lab regularly organizes events, pilots and Meet-Ups to map out the quality of the living environment together with citizens.

Waag coordinated this two-year European project and was responsible for three pilots in Amsterdam. For temporary European partnerships, securing the 'legacy' of more than two years of work is often a big challenge. With the Citizen Sensing toolkit this is guaranteed and accessible to everyone.

Frank Kresin (coordinator of Making Sense, Design Lab, University of Twente): "Sensor technology is increasingly becoming cheaper, more powerful and user-friendlier. What used to be a place for experts is now a place for everyone."

Ivonne Jansen Dings (head of Smart Citizens Lab, Waag): "Low-cost sensors allow citizens to collect and interpret data themselves. By putting these data next to official measurements, new forms of policymaking and participation are created. Making Sense is Open Government at its best."

Gijs Boerwinkel (community manager, Waag): "Because citizens determine the strategy of the measurements themselves, you get completely different creative outcomes. As a result, citizens really become owners of their project, the data and outcomes they produce."