Polluted streets and high density particulated matter are closer to you than you might think. The Dutch environmental defense organisation Milieudefensie found that the Valkenburgerstraat and the Weesperstraat in the heart of Amsterdam are the most polluted streets of the city. We wanted to know more about the situation in this part of the city and measured the air quality with the locals.

From our Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab we organized a special pilot in 2016 to measure air quality around the Valkenburgerstraat and Weesperstraat, under the name Urban AirQ. Citizens actively participated in the measuring process.

Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab
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.

Urban AirQ pilot
Special meetings were arranged for those joining the Urban AirQ pilot. Partners in the project were introduced and the possibilities explored. Which sensors were placed, where, and what was measured? The results of the pilot were shared and used as input for the EU-project Making Sense.

Partners in Urban AirQ : KNMI, University of Wageningen, GGD Amsterdam, ECN and the LongFonds. Waag earlier conducted a pilot with the Smart Citizen Kit in Amsterdam to measure air quality.

Urban AirQ is partly financed by the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS). The project is also part of the European financed program Making Sense.

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Project duration

1 Mar 2016 - 31 Dec 2016


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Urban AirQ has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 688620.