As we know carrying out the project, I-CHANGE and its partners address the climate and environmental challenges from two different perspectives through a participatory approach and involving deeply citizens and stakeholders.
The empowerment of the people and their awareness of the role and impact of individual choices in daily life bring really efficient results, and this approach is considered a successful story to engage citizens in the active collection of environmental and socio-economic data. Within the Genoa Living Lab, as all the other I-CHANGE LL around Europe, Asia and Africa, several set of sensor are used in collaboration with different stakeholders, that are addressing various relevant hazards in a user-friendly way and are improving the knowledge acquired through hands-on participation in the monitoring and assessment.
By this, we link the hazard knowledge to potential impacts and recommendations for citizens to mitigate or adapt to these hazards. Citizens are encouraged to reduce their own personal carbon and environmental footprint and to support climate adaptation and mitigation, triggering individual and social innovation thank to their raised knowledge on this topic.
Our successful story is about the event that happened the week from 23 August 2023 to 28 August 2023 where it is possible to appreciate the interplay between the different sensors and the crucial role of the citizens in the monitoring and acquiring data. On 23 August, Genoa, headquarter of one of the I-CHANGE Living Lab, experienced a very high temperature (up to 36.6 °C) and a motorbike, hosting a MeteoTracker sensor, moved crossed the city center showing urban heat island effects and humidex above 45 (danger). Only four days after, the Genoa City Center experienced a major flash flood event associated with a deep moist convection event, supported by an above normal sea surface temperature and resulting also in very high lightning activity.
Thanks to I-CHANGE sensors, the data that were collected by citizens showed different climatic extremes from flash-flood to heat waves in the Genoa City Center. Citizens science activities are demanding a lot of time to involve people, stakeholders and maintaining their engagement, but it is also fruitful and crucial to let citizens developing sustainable lifestyles consumption patterns. For this reason another step to engage different target of people is to show the results of the research and the importance of the collecting data in a educational and no formal way. Also this year, we presented an educational lab during the Science Festival in Genoa and we have realized a game where the participants have to behave as they have to live in a Zero Emission City. This activity wants to become an educational kit non only for the school that were visiting us during the event but also for the Italian schools and the country project partners schools. In this way we would like to strengthen the connection between the 8 Living Labs of the project and give a tool to reach as much as possible the students that will be next decision makers.
This successful story could be exploited as a good practice throughout the project partners and also to different Living Lab working on raising the environmental awareness and climate change knowledge of citizens.