In the period between the 16 and the 23 April, 2024, the Bologna Living Lab has organized a series of citizen science activities to monitor the spatial variability of air pollution at different locations in Bologna.

Groups of citizens utilized portable sensors (Smart Citizen Kits) for monitoring air pollution and meteorological variables at some ad hoc identified locations in the Bologna University area. The aim of this initiative was to identify pollution hotspots and related sources. Each group collected data for a 2 hour period, and compared the variability of air pollution and meteorological variables in different locations including vegetated areas (e.g., bothanical garden, parks), busy roads (e.g., nearby bars below the porticos) and trafficked roads (e.g., at the bus stops, at the traffic lights).

The preliminary results suggest the presence of differences between the studied areas. The results of this activity will provide the opportunity to assess the crucial role of Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in the mitigation of heat stress and (potentially) air pollution and to detail the role of different pollution sources in driving pollution variability. The Bologna Living Lab team (Silvana Di Sabatino, Francesco Barbano, Erika Brattich, Carlo Cintolesi) has managed the monitoring activities and it is now working to extrapolate key information from the data allowing to elaborate possible solutions to decrease people exposure to air pollution and extreme heat favouring their wellbeing.