Brussels, Belgium — On Saturday, 25 September, CurieuzenAir participants will start measuring nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in their streets. 3,000 households, schools, businesses and associations in Brussels are taking part in this measuring campaign. Some eye-catching measurement locations will also be part of the citizen science study. Measuring devices will be installed at the window of 16 Rue de la Loi – the Prime Minister’s office – and on the grounds of the Royal Domain of Laeken. For four weeks, all 3,000 CurieuzenAirs will help map the air quality in Brussels.
- Citizen science project of Antwerp University, BRAL and ULB
- 3,000 participants spread out over Brussels
- All participants will install their measuring devices on 25 September
- Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) measurements for 4 weeks
- Project is part of the Brussels Clean Air Partnership
Measurements in Brussels
Out of 5,578 potential locations, an algorithm carefully selected 3,000 measurement points based on strict scientific criteria. There are measurement points in each of Brussels’ 19 districts. The measuring devices will be installed on roads with high and low traffic intensity, streets with detached and terraced housing, residential areas and areas with many office buildings. The distribution of the measuring devices is clearly visible via this online map. The 3,000 measuring locations include 83 schools, 283 organizations and companies and 2,570 families. The remaining 64 measuring devices will be installed in Brussels’ parks and near air quality reference stations.
With the support of the Belgian Royal family, an air quality sensor has been installed on the grounds of Royal Domain of Laeken. Air quality will also be measured from the Prime Minister’s office window at Rue de la Loi. The blue ‘CurieuzenNeuzen’ panel will also be visible on some of the buildings where the European Commission has offices.
The CurieuzenAir measuring stations consist of a folding board that participants can attach outside their windows. In the tip of the board, two measuring tubes are attached, which will track the amount of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in ambient air from 25 September to 23 October 2021.
In cooperation with Brussels Environment, CurieuzenAir will also install measuring panels near air quality reference stations to calibrate the setup. The data from all 3,000 locations will be combined to create a detailed map of air quality and pollution concentrations in Brussels. This unique dataset will also help policymakers better understand the impacts of traffic on health and inform the city’s policies and specific interventions.
The results of the measurements will be published in March 2022 via an interactive dot map on the websites of media partners De Standaard, Le Soir and BRUZZ. Participants will simultaneously receive a personal measurement report with the results of their own measurement location.
This project is part of the Brussels Clean Air partnership, an initiative to tackle air pollution supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Brussels-Capital Region Government and Brussels Environment.
Alain Maron, Brussels Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Energy and Participatory Democracy: “Taking action against air pollution is one of my priorities to improve our health. That is why I am working with the Brussels Government to make our buildings and mobility more sustainable. And thanks to all the inhabitants of Brussels who measure with CurieuzenAir, we will have valuable data to make the air we breathe cleaner, for which I would like to thank all citizen scientists.”
“Data is critical in helping cities better understand and tackle the critical threat of air pollution,” said Antha Williams, who leads Climate and Environment Programs at Bloomberg Philanthropies. “The World Health Organization’s new global air quality guidelines show we must do more to prevent millions of deaths from air pollution. Bloomberg Philanthropies is pleased to support CurieuzenAir’s efforts to collect robust hyper local data on air quality across the city of Brussels. We’re equally thrilled to welcome the participation of the Prime Minister, European Commission, and local civil society organizations in this important campaign harnessing the power of thousands of citizens to curb air pollution in Brussels.”
CurieuzenAir is an initiative of the University of Antwerp, urban movement BRAL and Université Libre de Bruxelles, in close collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, Brussels Environment, De Standaard, Le Soir, BRUZZ and DPD.
Sanne de Rooij, UAntwerpen (Dutch/English)
+32 (0)485 828 469, firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivier Dikuta, BRAL (French/English)
+32 (0)478691444, email@example.com
Marshall Cohen, Bloomberg Philanthropies (English)
+1 646-819-2611, firstname.lastname@example.org