Fostering resource efficiency and climate change resilience through community based Air Quality Internet of Things


Priority axis Environment
Specific Objective Sustainable Territories
Call 1st Call for Project Proposals
Lead Partner Municipality of Sofia
Partners Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Special Account for Research Funds, School of Mechanical Engineering
Centre for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology
Municipality of Thessaloniki
Municipality of Tirana
State Environmental Inspectorate
Budget 1.417.322,66 €

Air pollution has been one of the first environmental problems to be addressed by the EU, in that sense clean air is considered essential to good health and a basic human need. EU law has recognised this need and given legal protection to it through Directive 2008/50/EC by imposing stringent limits on levels of harmful air pollution in ambient air. Late reports confirm that up to one-third of the EU urban population are exposed to air pollution which exceeds EU limit values. Direct economic damage includes €15bn from lost workdays, €4bn healthcare costs, €3bn crop yield loss and €1bn damage to buildings.

Air pollution is the number one environmental cause of death in the EU, responsible for 406,000 premature deaths. In addition to premature mortality there are also substantial quality-of-life impacts, ranging from asthma to exacerbation of cardiovascular symptoms. Health-related external costs range between €330 - €940bn per year depending on the valuation methodology. Currently the primary responsibility for complying and monitoring of the air quality is assigned to respective environmental ministries and agencies, although it is evident that all public bodies, including regional and local authorities, must take coherent proactive measures to secure clean air.

The transboundary component of air pollution is significant. A state's pollution emissions are not just its own problem but affect also its neighbors. To address this issue, common environmental objectives must be agreed, and these can only be achieved if a common multi country approach is in place. In this context, AIRTHINGS as being part of the INTERREG IVC programme, is outlined to test new and modern tools in bettering the air quality in the context of interregional cooperation.

The project will leverage the emerging technologies through "Internet of Things" (IoT) intelligent air quality measuring sensors. Τhis approach will provide new, real time data through internet, form a network of connected cities jointly monitoring air quality, create a cloud based "Open data" system with predictive analytics and advanced machine learning capabilities enabling public bodies timely actions and feeding the general public with easy understandable information which fosters a sustainable way of living. In combination with city specific guidelines and methodologies for air quality monitoring, establishment of common policy framework analysis towards decrease of regional pollutants and  3D MEMO, 3D MARS-aero and 3D MIMO air quality assessments models, the project will effectively address the air pollution and will enable information driven decisions to be taken by public authorities, citizens and businesses. Essentially, it will result in increased public authorities control over air pollutants which will naturally lead to decrease of air pollution levels, thus guaranteeing compliance with Air Quality Directive objectives on one side, and on the other, preserving citizens health and ensuring clean air as basic human right.

Communication Plan

AIRTHINGS Communication Plan


D.4.1.1. Analysis of the appropriate locations for realisation of a network of sensors for observation of the atmospheric air on the territory of the Sofia Municipality


D.4.1.2. Guide to Best Practices in Other European Cities