All I need is the air that I breath, an open Data Portal and Hackathons.

Air is a mixture of gases. In average it contains 78% of nitrogen, 21% of oxygen and 1% of argon. It also has carbon dioxide, water vapor and other gases in much smaller quantities. Unfortunately, some other components can be carried by the air that have a negative impact on human health. These are the oxides of nitrogen (NOx), that irritate the skin and the respiratory tracks and the solid particles in suspension PM10 (smaller than 10 micrometers) and PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 micrometers) that can penetrate deeply in the respiratory system and produce many cardiovascular diseases.

High concentration of NOx, PM10 and PM2.5 are found on the air of cities with high number of vehicles running with diesel and gasoline engines. This a problem concerning all the citizens since they are the ones producing and breathing it. 

The MUV Open Data Portal is a tool to enhance the urban air pollution issue and at the same time, it will serve to fight it. It has open datasets on Amsterdam, Barcelona, Fundao, Ghent, Helsinki and Palermo. Data such as the concentration of the above-mentioned pollutants in different locations of the pilots cities, meteorological data, the price of the fuels, the public transport lines and their schedules. These datasets contain data from the MUV monitoring stations (see pictures) and anonymized data produced by the users of the MUV app. 

Everyone is invited to have a look and analyze this data in order to find the main air pollution focus, the influence of the fuel prices on the contamination, the distribution of public transport lines, etc. and formulate innovative solutions to improve the quality of the air and the mobility of the citizens.

A MUV Hackathon will be organized in Barcelona & Ghent in Spring of 2020 to give more visibility to the MUV Open Data portal. The participant groups of the Hackathon will have 24 hours to work on a solution for the challenges that will be announced to improve urban mobility. They will also produce some new insights from the data of the Open Data portal or any other data that could add value to their proposal. Municipality administrators, policy makers and MUV app developers will be listening to their solutions and will analyze their outcomes. As in any other Hackathons, there will be awards for the winners. The official date of the Hackathons will be announced in The Next Level, the newsletter of MUV. 


About the author:

Josep Escrig is the coordinator of  WP6 “Data Valorization”. He is director of Distributed Artificial Intelligence of I2CAT Foundation. Josep does research in machine learning applications and consultancy for companies that want to introduce innovative AI solutions. He has a MSc in Sustainability and is very concerned about climate change.