What are the levels of air pollution around your home or business? And what about noise pollution? And air humidity? Imagine that you would have this information, and share it instantly and compare it with other places in your city, in real time. We have tested this idea with the Smart Citizen Kit in Amsterdam.
The low-cost sensors in the kit (version 1.1), developed at Fab Lab Barcelona, measured two toxic gasses in the air (CO and NO2), the temperature & humidity, the light intensity and noise levels. The kit existed of an open-source hardware device, a website where the data is being collected, an API and a mobile app. In this project, Waag, Amsterdam Smart City and the Amsterdam Economic Board created a temporary network of sensors in Amsterdam and during three months collected the measuring results.
By giving individuals the tools to conduct research themselves, an increased involvement in the immediate environment might be the effect. This can create new, dynamic relationships between citizens, scientists and policy makers. And urban issues can be proposed, argued and substantiated from different perspectives. The project Smart Citizen Kit Amsterdam studied how this works in practice, and we examined the results and impact.