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A view of Rotterdam

Rotterdam citizens concerned with air quality form a club

Rotterdam citizens concerned with air quality form a club

They will be measuring air quality as a citizen-driven science project

Over 400 citizens of Rotterdam have already registered in a special club dedicated to air quality and called Luchtclub. Part of the activities of the club is the measurement of air pollution on the street with particulate matter sensors. The club aligns with a five-decade-old policy of the Dutch port city to measure air quality and will function as a sort of a citizen science project.

Mapping the air quality in The Netherlands

The first members of the air club in Rotterdam have already received their air quality sensors and the rest will get them in the next couple of weeks. With these devices, members will be measuring the levels of particulate matter (PM2.5) on their streets and will be supplying data for a two-year period.

The municipality and the Institute for Public Health and the Environment will use this data as a basis to map out how Rotterdammers experience their environment and what they consider important. The measurements can already be seen live on an online map (fuelled with data from across The Netherlands).

According to the Alderman for Sustainability Arno Bonte, quoted on the city website, the measurements will be a valuable addition to the existing municipal network, which has been functioning for 50 years already and will help it further improve its air quality. Although 400 members is already a very good number, certain city areas are still not represented sufficiently, so new club members are more than welcome.

Other than measurements, the air club members in other city areas like Rozenburg, Pernis, Hoogvliet and Hoek van Holland can already participate in discussions, exchange ideas online on how to improve the air quality in their neighbourhoods. 

The first meetings started on 3 June and during the first online sessions, Alderman Bonte, assisted by other health and environmental authorities, will elaborate on the purpose of the Luchtclub, the importance of clean air and the added value of measuring it. They will also discuss sustainable urban development and how to make Rotterdam future-proof.

Finally, Rotterdam is taking various measures to improve air quality, such as installing shore-based power for sea vessels, promoting shared electric transport, and encouraging cycling, walking and public transport. The goal for Rotterdam is to meet the stricter standards of the World Health Organization by 2025 at the latest.

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