Enhancing Citizen Observatories for healthy, sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities, using co-creation for inclusive, local actions.


The Challenge

Adding value to environmental observations by Citizen Observatories (COs), while promoting inclusivity, participation and participatory action.

Our Solution

Reimagining and deepening the role of citizens in governance processes by increasing opportunities for participation, deliberation and influence, building open infrastructure and strengthening capacity to support the inclusion of COs in multilevel governance.

Type of Project

HORIZON Innovation Action for Uptake and validation of citizen observations to complement authoritative measurement within the urban environment and boost related citizen engagement. Grant agreement: 101086421.

Project Outputs/Applied Technologies

Toolkit on Citizen-led Action, Smart Citizen Platform and Sense Making / Distributed Design Platform Methodologies.

The Project

CitiObs aims to enhance the work of Citizen Observatories so that they can serve as a vehicle for societal transformation towards sustainable development, increasing awareness and actions to reduce the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation to the health of citizens and our planet. To do so, CitiObs proposes a socio-technical approach to deal with the prevailing challenges that limit the uptake of COs observations in multi-level governance.

Our Contribution

Building on the legacy of well-known projects such as Smart Citizen, Making Sense and Distributed Design, our contribution aims to collect knowledge on participatory processes, technological resources for environmental monitoring, and action co-creation practices with creative collectives.

The Smart Citizen project, composed of open source software, open source hardware, digital maker practices and design was developed at Fab Lab Barcelona and is used by communities to measure and understand their own environmental data. The open infrastructure provided by the Smart Citizen project provides all necessary components for anyone to collect environmental data easily. The Smart Citizen platform, also developed by Fab Lab Barcelona, aggregates all data from the Smart Citizen kits worldwide and is an open, online resource.

A toolkit for co-creating citizen-led actions is a key component of the project, the final result will guide citizens in taking action towards environmental protection. However, we will do so in unconventional ways, by joining forces with creative collectives from the Distributed Design Platform (led by Fab Lab Barcelona | IAAC). This collaborative endeavor promotes innovative ways of connecting Citizen Observatories with local artists and creative networks. These diverse allies can imagine new ways to communicate, engage, make visible and protect our environment, while at the same time bringing voices from a wider representation of local communities.

Who is it for?

The outputs of the CitiObs project are tailored for Citizen Observatories, communities of practice around environmental matters, academia and policymakers.

  • National ecological centre of Ukraine
  • NILU
  • draxis
  • dreven
  • euro cities
  • IAAC scaled
  • Universiteit Leiden
  • airly
  • Secure dimensions
  • air sentinels
  • UCD