Heart Project

Deep Environmental Probing – The Network of Sensors is Being Planted in our Demo Cities

Our HEART partners recently started installing the environmental sensors that will back up the upcoming clinical study within the project. Taking place in Aarhus (DK), Belgrade (RS), and Athens (GR) as our case study cities, our local partners will extract the data that depict the environmental circumstances in each demo site and will use them to prove the plethora of benefits to physical and mental health of the citizens living or wandering near and about the location.

How different the conditions in each city are, shows the number of challenges our partners had to outplay to secure the most accurate and uninterrupted functioning of the sensors. Unlike the majority of sensors commonly used in cities, which show merely average numbers of temperature flow, pollution peaks, and so on, for the HEART project it was crucial to obtain the most precise measurements of the local conditions.

Environmental sensors play a crucial role in improving the urban environment and enhancing the well-being of citizens by providing valuable data that can inform urban planning and decision-making and enable a more healthy, well-being-oriented, participative, and inclusive city design. Here’s how these sensors contribute to these goals:

Air Quality Monitoring: Environmental sensors measure air pollutants like particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide. This data allows cities to identify pollution sources, implement emission reduction strategies, and issue public health advisories when air quality is poor. Improved air quality directly benefits citizens by reducing the risk of respiratory diseases and improving overall health.

Noise Pollution Reduction: Noise sensors help identify noisy areas in urban environments, such as transportation hubs or construction sites. Urban planners can use this information to implement noise control measures, optimize traffic flow, and designate quiet zones, leading to reduced stress levels and better sleep quality for residents. In the HEART project, we are proving that blue and green areas are beneficial to our health, and by conducting this study in such areas, the results we acquire there will be compared to those from different, less green urban areas, to show their discrepancies. Hopefully, it will inspire city planners to multiply and expand the green and blue areas across the urban areas. Precise in-situ noise measurements can yield especially useful findings in the Athens and Aarhus demo sites, which, due to their relatively small size and proximity to oncoming traffic, are perfect locations to gauge the effect vegetation has on noise reduction.

Temperature and Heat Island Mitigation: Sensors that monitor temperature variations and heat islands provide data to develop urban cooling strategies. These may include planting more trees, creating green spaces, using reflective materials, and designing cool and green roofs. By reducing extreme heat in urban areas, residents are less vulnerable to heat-related illnesses, and their overall comfort improves.

These are just some of the options environmental sensors provide, that we will utilize to prove the powerful and advantageous effects of blue and green elements in our usually overcrowded and stuffed cities.

Once we prove the benefits of such urban areas on our health and well-being through several criteria, we intend to help future experts improve their methodologies by relying on the following data provided by sensors:

Evidence-Based Decision Making: Data collected from sensors provides empirical evidence for urban planners and policymakers to make informed decisions about infrastructure development, land use management, and environmental policies.

Predictive Modeling: Historical sensor data can be used to create predictive models for urban trends, such as air quality changes or urban temperature increase. These models aid in long-term planning and infrastructure management.

Resource Allocation: Sensor data helps allocate resources efficiently by focusing on areas with the most pressing environmental issues or urban challenges.

Feedback Mechanism: Continuous monitoring allows cities to assess the effectiveness of implemented measures and make adjustments as needed to ensure long-term improvements.

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