Citizen Sensing for Improved Urban Environmental Monitoring

Jiang, Qijun; Kresin, Frank; Bregt, Arnold K.; Kooistra, Lammert; Pareschi, Emma; Putten, Edith Van; Volten, Hester; Wesseling, Joost


Citizen science is increasingly being used in diverse research domains. With the emergence and rapid development of sensor technologies, citizens potentially have more powerful tools to collect data and generate information to understand their living environment. Although sensor technologies are developing fast, citizen sensing has not been widely implemented yet and published studies are only a few. In this paper, we analyse the practical experiences from an implementation of citizen sensing for urban environment monitoring. A bottom-up model in which citizens develop and use sensors for environmental monitoring is described and assessed. The paper focuses on a case study of Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab using NO2 sensors for air quality monitoring. We found that the bottom-up citizen sensing is still challenging but can be successful with open cooperation and effective use of online and offline facilities. Based on the assessment, suggestions are proposed for further implementations and research.