Eindhoven is a large city thanks to its geographic location, proper infrastructure, and above all: Philips. In population terms, Eindhoven has grown rapidly; from 103,030 inhabitants in 1935 to 223,220 in January 2015.
Eindhoven, just like any other big city has had to cope with mobility problems due to the large flow of traffic in and around the city. As most people have cars today, the roads are becoming increasingly packed with vehicles. Because more people travel by car, the air has become more polluted with toxic emissions. Although we know that more traffic causes more pollution, there has never been an attempt to ‘’visualize’’ the pollution levels – up to now.
Welcome to AiREAS!
AiREAS is a co-creative and multidisciplinary venture that focuses on “healthy cities” by taking air quality and human health as points of reference. Although AiREAS first started in Eindhoven back in 2010, any city can join or copy the ‘’principles’’ of AiREAS and use the ideology behind it to make their own city ‘’healthy.
The mission of any Local AiREAS is to co-create a healthy city through purpose driven interaction of the four key parts of any local society:
• Local government: regional responsibility
• Business: applied innovation and services
• Science: research and education
• Local population: behavior and mentality
Deriving from their mission, AiREAS performs two key activities (so far):
- ILM: low cost, fine maze, real time air quality measurement system
- Health monitoring of a large sample of citizens.
The ILM (Intelligent Measurement System)
AiREAS in corporation with ECN, Philips and Axians have developed and succesfully installed 35 Airboxes in Eindhoven. These Airboxes measure real-time air quality. The data that is gathered in these airboxes is processed by ECN and is subsequently sent to Axians which communicates the data to the wider public.
Monitoring citizen’s health
At the beginning of June 2015, a small sample of citizens walked through Eindhoven wearing backpacks stacked with measurement equipment that determines their GPS location and exposure to air pollution, including ultrafine dust. The purpose of this activity was to measure the participant’s direct exposure to air pollution indoors and outdoors.
The experiment was organized by the Dutch technology institute called TNO together with the health risk assessment research authority (IRAS) of the University of Utrecht and facilitated by Local AiREAS in Eindhoven.
The ultimate purpose of AiREAS
The original objective was to show the world that healthy cities can be created when responsibility is taken by the entire community together. Now the experience is made available worldwide. Local AiREAS elsewhere in the world will be local for local and interconnected in a worldwide network.
Jean- Paul Close, Founder of AiREAS, Sustainocracy, Transformation economy and STIR.