Improving air pollution in cities through smart control systems.


The Challenge

How can we encourage citizen engagement to collectively tackle air pollution in cities?

Our Solution

Provide expert advice and citizen-tech by implementing the Smart Citizen Kit and a Citizen Science approach.

Type of Project

Research and Innovation Action for Societal Challenges in climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials funded by European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under Grant Agreement 689954.

Applied Technologies

Smart Citizen Kit. Citizen Science Approach. Smart Cities.

Cities currently release huge levels of carbon emissions which have detrimental effects on air pollution and citizen health. European-funded research and innovation project iSCAPE was active from September 2016 to December 2019. iSCAPE worked on the principles of integrating and advancing the control of air quality and carbon emissions in European cities in the context of climate change, through the development of sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives.

The Project

iSCAPE tackled the problem of reducing air pollution by focusing on the use of “Passive Control Systems” in urban spaces, policy intervention, and behavioural changes of citizens lifestyles. Real-world physical interventions and projections were applied to selected cities that had been assessed for future climate change scenarios. Each city was also selected for their representation of different cultures and lifestyles across Europe.
The project followed a living labs approach, in which the city becomes a lab through open-innovation practice, to deploying a network of air quality and meteorological sensors (stationary and mobile). The benefits of these interventions were evaluated from a neighbourhood and city-wide scale – ranging from quantification of pollutant concentration to exposure.

Our Contribution

Fab Lab Barcelona provided expert Citizen Science advice around the implementation of low-cost sensors, through its very own Smart Citizen Kit. Through the project, the team developed the now commercially available Smart Citizen Kit 2.1 and the Smart Citizen Station, alongside a new set of specific software tools that dramatically improve the quality of the collected air pollution data through machine learning. The Citizen Science approach includes people in the scientific research process: for example, working alongside the researchers in finding solutions to problems, methodologies and conclusions.

Who is it for?

iSCAPE is for any citizen driven to make a change in their community in order to reduce pollutants in urban areas.

Urban Planners / City Makers

Interested in using the Citizen Science approach in developing infrastructural solutions and behaviour change in cities to address the issue of air pollution.


Interested in participating in policy making and behaviour changes, to become decision-makers in building urban environments.

Project Partners

2016 - 2019