I-CHANGE Dublin – A living lab aiming to reduce traffic and air pollution at school gates by changing citizen’s behaviours

Location

Dublin, Ireland

Environmental areas adressed

Climate Action, Sustainable Transport, Active Travel, Pollution (Air pollution)

About

In the I-CHANGE Dublin Living Lab University College Dublin (UCD) is teaming up with schools across Dublin to encourage more active travel to and from schools. UCD is giving automatic traffic counters and air quality monitors to schools. In collaboration with the Smart Dublin programme UCD will develop activities with schoolchildren to promote and encourage active travel to schools. The traffic counter and air quality monitor will show how effective these activities are. Can we change behaviours that will result in less traffic and pollution at school gates? Can we demonstrate sustainable transport solutions that will have also a positive impact on climate action?

Empowering Young Innovators: Students from Primary and Secondary School Tackle Traffic and Air Quality

On Friday 3 May 2024, the Academy of the Near Future showcase was hosted at the Mansion House, one of Dublin’s finest buildings.

Dublin Living Lab is testing renewable energy sources to power sensors

As part of the I-CHANGE Dublin Living Lab, we are currently investigating using portable solar panels to power the Smartcitizen Air Quality Monitor. In the past, Smartcitizen have tested running the Smart Citizen Kit 2.1 monitor with 5W and 6W solar panels in...

The 1st stakeholder workshop of the I-CHANGE Dublin Living Lab took place to reduce traffic and air pollution at school gates!

The first stakeholder workshop of the I-CHANGE Dublin Living Lab took place last Friday in the Spatial Dynamics Lab of University College Dublin. It was attended by partners from industry, academia, local government and civil society.

Experiments

The traffic counters will count the number of cars, bikes, and pedestrians in the road, while the air quality monitors will measure particulate matter in the air. The data from both monitors will be publicly available via open access websites. UCD will develop activities with the schoolchildren that aim to reduce the number of cars outside the school and to increase the number of active travel (pedestrians and cyclists), with children acting as ambassadors of change for more sustainable, eco-friendly behaviours. The traffic counter will record the day to day changes in cars and active travel, which will show how successful these activities are. In addition, the data from the air quality monitor will show how these changes translate into levels of particulate matter pollution.

How to participate

If you would like to get involved in I-CHANGE Dublin,
please email: ichange@ucd.ie

Background

Traffic and transport infrastructure are well-known problems in Dublin. In 2019 a global survey ranked Dublin as the 6th most congested city in Europe and the 14th most congested city in the world. A previous research report suggested that in 2018 Dublin commuters spent a total of 246 hours or more than 10 full days in their cars . Emissions from traffic, and in particular from stop-and-go traffic in congested conditions, are a major source of air pollution. Traffic-related air pollution is a known health risk, and children are especially vulnerable as their lungs are still growing. In addition, high traffic intensities of motorised vehicles increase the risk of collisions and accidents, and road safety is a particular concern in school areas.

Therefore, encouraging active travel around schools has many benefits. It reduces motorised traffic, which improves air quality and road safety. It promotes exercise, which improves health. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which contributes to positive climate action.

Contact

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037193.