Citizen science is an alternative to the classic concept of smart cities. Using accessible technology and backed by a widespread collective awareness of the need to combat climate change on a local scale, the projects offer advantages not fully explored by the major Spanish capitals. Dublin (Ireland) is committed to these initiatives to reduce carbon emissions by increasing public awareness and strengthening audits from civil society to achieve environmental neutrality goals.
The concept refers to the participation of citizens in scientific research activities when they actively contribute to science, either through their intellectual contribution or the knowledge they provide or through specific tools and resources. Increasingly common in research and innovation schemes, this variant has taken a prominent role among new wedge terms.
Either with the aim of bringing science closer to the public or using it to make investigation findings more robust by applying it to a real environment, this trend has become established. Thus, there are more and more projects of this type. Advocates of this trend make it clear that it is not about spending more public resources, but about spending them better.
The possibility of embodying the fight against climate change at the local level provides very valuable information to local public authorities and contributes to raising awareness and awareness
Among the main precursors applied to public policy design is the European Commission, which through its Horizon programs to support research aims to form a group working to improve the quality of life and the impact of climate on our cities. Most notable is Dublin.
The iSCAPE initiative, whose goal was to develop a strategy to control and reduce air pollution, made use of low-cost passive environmental control systems such as trees, hedges or plant covers to reduce environmental impact. To do this, it distributed sensors to volunteer citizens to measure air quality in different parts of Dublin in order, based on the results presented, to adopt urban design policies that mitigate carbon dioxide emissions.
This was the first. Following this idea, others emerged such as Wecount, which measures congestion caused by road traffic and associated air pollution in various neighborhoods in Dublin. Francesco Pilla, professor and researcher at University College Dublin and coordinator of the plan, advocates the need to train citizens with tools that give them concrete data about what is happening outside their homes, since people often have strong opinions about transportation problems or mobility services in your area, but not You have the evidence driving the changes you want to see.
The advantages are multiple. On the one hand, they train residents to use new technologies to control air pollution. Moreover, since we are a global emergency whose impact we often cannot see, the possibility of embodying the fight against climate change on a local scale provides very valuable information to public authorities and contributes to awareness and awareness raising. Thus, these projects can influence the urban design of their neighbourhoods, and in turn, can promote spaces for collaboration with institutions.
Citizen science has managed to overcome existing technological and social silos and involve the population in managing the environmental problems that surround them, transforming them from mere passive subjects to active agents of decision-making. It can also provide new solutions to some common problems in local management such as air pollution, congestion, logistics or waste. More initiatives like this are needed in Dublin in our cities that seek to combat climate change and improve health in our cities.
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