Citizen science to combat climate change in Dublin

Dublin, citizen science is being used to prevent climate change.

Several ground-breaking European programs are promoting evidence-based urban solutions to combat global warming.

Citizen science is an alternative to the traditional Smart City notion. The projects provide advantages not fully explored by the big Spanish metropolises, thanks to the use of readily available technology and a growing social awareness of the need to tackle climate change on a local scale. Dublin (Ireland) is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through increasing public awareness and supporting civil society audits in order to meet environmental neutrality goals.

Citizens participate in scientific research activities when they actively contribute to science, either by their intellectual contributions, expertise, or specialized instruments and resources. This version has gained the lead among the new wedge neologisms, becoming increasingly popular in research and innovation initiatives.

This trend is here to stay, whether the goal is to bring science closer to the public or to use it to make research results more robust by applying them to a real-world setting. As a result, there are an increasing number of projects of this nature. It is not a matter of spending more public resources, but of spending them better, according to supporters of this movement.

The ability to fight climate change on a local level provides extremely useful information to local government officials and aids in raising awareness and sensitization about the need to lessen climate change’s environmental impact.

The European Commission, through its Horizon research assistance programs, strives to build a corpus that can be utilized to improve the quality of life and the climate effect of our cities, and is one of the most important antecedents used to the design of public policies. The most well-known of these is located in Dublin.

The iSCAPE effort, whose goal was to design a strategy for air pollution control and reduction, used low-cost passive environmental control devices including trees, hedges, and plant coverings to lessen environmental effect. To that purpose, it distributed sensors to citizens to assess air quality in various regions of Dublin so that, depending on the results, urban design policies might be implemented to reduce CO2 emissions.

The first was this. Others, such as Wecount, which tracks traffic congestion and accompanying air pollution in different Dublin neighborhoods, have adopted this concept. Professor and researcher Francesco Pilla, the scheme’s coordinator, argues that citizens need tools that provide them with concrete data about what is happening outside their homes, because people often have strong opinions about transportation or mobility issues in their area but lack the evidence to drive the changes they want to see.

The benefits are numerous. On the one hand, they teach their neighbors how to use innovative air pollution control technology. Furthermore, because this is a global catastrophe whose effects are frequently invisible, the ability to conduct climate change mitigation on a local scale provides essential information to public authorities and aids in raising awareness and sensitization. As a result, these projects can have an impact on the urban planning of their communities, fostering spaces for collaboration with institutions.

Citizen science breaks down current technological and social barriers by including the general public in the management of environmental issues that affect them, transforming them from passive observers to active participants in decision-making. It may also give novel answers to some of the most pressing issues in local government, including as air pollution, traffic congestion, logistics, and waste management. More efforts like this one in Dublin are needed in our cities to battle climate change and enhance public health.

 

Article Author Gerluxe Image: NASA