In the Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab we explore the tools and applications to map the world around us. Along with citizens, scientists, and designers, we dealed with themes ranging from air quality to the conditions of bathing water to noise pollution.
When is the best time to take a swim in the canals? Which route is the healthiest to take to work? And what’s the real level of noise pollution in your neighbourhood? These are all examples of questions that could be answered in the Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab. In each session, we will invite experts to tell us more about the possibilities, impact, and relevance of citizens who take the measurement of local, environmental data into their own hands.
Knowledge through measuring
With smartphones, smart watches, and wristbands, it’s becoming increasingly simple to collect the data around us. But, open data from the municipality and DIY sensors are also playing a major role in the retrieval of (new) data. Thanks to today's technology, measuring, itself, has become much easier, and can help citizens learn more about their city, town, or neighbourhood.
Yet, simply measuring the environment around us is not enough. One must also merge and analyse the data to make the most of it. Data can lead to new connections and insights, which means that it will become easier to make our environment healthier and cleaner.
Smart Citizen Kit
In 2014, we experimented with Smart Citizen Kit, an open source device that monitors the environment. The technology was not yet ready at that moment, but that the exchange of experiences helped us understand what the possibilities are of citizen science.
Waag runs the Amsterdam Smart Citizen Lab in cooperation with the City of Amsterdam (CTO), HvA, RIVM, SenseMakers, Alterra, AMS, Amsterdam Economic Board, Fablab Amsterdam and Waag's Open Wetlab. This initiative is internationally supported by Fablab Barcelona, Microgiants, FutureEverything en Dundee University. Supported by the EU Making Sense programme in 2016-2018.