Between the end of January and the beginning of February 2018 the University of Bologna has been testing and using the updated version of the Smart Citizen Kits in a real environment.

The aim to test and calibrate the updated Kits in a city center so that they can become a reliable and easy-to-use tool, for citizens to monitor pollutant levels, as well as a low-cost support for researches in the field of air quality and livability of a city.

Activities have been undertaken in two phases:

  • Calibration Phase: the Smart Citizen Kits were placed as close as possible to the air quality monitoring van of ARPAE in via Marconi (BO) for 24 hours. The aim was to collect roughly the same air mass with both the Kits and the monitoring van. Measurements from the van were then used as a reference on which to test the quality of of the measurements collected by the Kits and to correct calibration. Once the Kits were recalibrated to perform correctly also in a real environment, they could be used to measure pollutants also further from the ARPAE van.
  • Measurement phase: the Kits have been put to use to support instruments during the second two weeks of the ongoing winter field campaign (that goes from 15/1 to 15/2/2018) with the aim of collecting additional information in key places (two intersections, one per street canyon) inside the monitored domain (further details of the Measurement field campaign are provided below).

Winter measurement field campaign

The winter measurement field campaign is being undertaken from the 15th of January till the 15th of February 2018 inside and above two urban street canyons in Bologna; one with tress (Via Laura Bassi) and one without (Via Marconi).

Compared to the previous summer campaign, this campaign is especially important and interesting because during this season smog and particle pollution are especially high, primarily due to the different atmospheric dynamics which frequently cause the trapping of pollutants in the atmospheric boundary layer (i.e. close to where people live). For this reason, further air quality instruments, in particular related to particle pollution, were    installed at both sites.


What are urban street canyons?

Urban street canyons are special structures inside cities. Atmospheric dynamics and turbulence are crucial for pollutants transport and removal. The effects of vegetation inside the canyon is currently under investigation to assess the impacts of trees on air quality at pedestrian level.