3M'AIR - Mobile citizen measurements and modelling: air quality and heat islands in Lyon (2018)

Scientific coordinator: Walid Bechkit (CITI) – walid.bechkit@insa-lyon.fr
Disciplines: Computer Science – Geography – Fluid Mechanics
Laboratories: CITI – EVS – LMFA
Partners: Lyon Métropole – City of Lyon – Atmo AURA – Météo France – Lyon Météo


The study of air quality and heat islands in urban environments in the context of climate change constitute two complementary issues that lend themselves to a multidisciplinary approach involving the measurement and modelling of phenomena. In effect, local air quality is modified by urban heat islands, as they affect both the characteristics of the atmospheric boundary layer and air circulation at the local level. Incidentally, the effectiveness of action taken through local public planning policies to address these two issues is closely dependant on detailed knowledge of the air temperature and air quality at local levels, as the effects of climate policies and air quality policies can be contradictory. Today, this local knowledge is obtained using validated physico-chemical models, often combined with measurements obtained from fixed reference stations (weather stations and air quality stations). Despite the undeniable advantage of these stations, which provide precise temperature and air quality data, they are expensive, which means their numbers are limited to only a few dozen per region, hence the widespread spacing of the measurements collected.
In order to increase knowledge of the local climate, the 3M'Air project will explore the potential of participatory citizen measurements to improve local knowledge of air quality and temperature. The main aim of this project is therefore to equip observers with low- or medium-cost, mobile sensors and then ensure the effective, real-time feedback and sound analysis of the data collected to guarantee a better monitoring of these phenomena as closely as possible to citizens. To this end, a tailored multi-sensor measurement system will first be developed and tested in real conditions. Various technological barriers will be addressed, such as the impact of mobility on the quality of the measurements, effective data feedback, etc. At the same time, a citizen participation protocol will be established then citizen measurement campaigns carried out using tools developed in advance. Questions concerning mobilisation and citizen involvement will be studied carefully. Lastly, the third main aim of this project will be to design new, tailored, effective approaches in order to analyse participatory measurements and generate precise mappings of temperature and air quality. The main difficulty will lie in analysing data that is continuous in time and space to characterise highly dynamic phenomena.
The project therefore aims to develop shared expertise in multiscale and multiparametric mobile instrumentation, for use both in LabEx IMU research programmes and in the Lyon conurbation's spatial planning projects. A further, complementary interest lies in associating voluntary observers with the measurements, making them aware of issues concerning air quality and urban heat islands and of climate change, and involving them as 'climate sentries'.