I-CHANGE Dublin – A living lab aiming to reduce traffic and air pollution at school gates by changing citizen’s behaviours
Environmental areas adressed
Climate Action, Sustainable Transport, Active Travel, Pollution (Air pollution)
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?
How to participate
If you would like to get involved in I-CHANGE Dublin,
please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037193.