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COMPAIR lets citizens measure air quality

In the Horizon 2020 project COMPAIR (Community Observation Measurement & Participation in Air Science), Flanders Environment Agency (VMM), along with 14 project partners, is investigating air quality using Citizen Science.

COMPAIR: What and why?

Despite the fact that air quality has already improved, European and/or WHO standards are still being violated in some places. That's why COMPAIR, along with citizens, is investigating air quality. The project aims to ensure the improvement of local air quality by focusing on behavioural change and raising awareness of prevailing air issues.

Citizens get involved in the project and help us to measure air quality (PM and NO2) and traffic counts (Telraam sensors). This form of citizen science therefore consists of dynamic and static measurements.

» Dynamic measurements

Participants can go out with an air quality sensor on their bike, backpack, buggy, etc. As such, they can measure their personal exposure to air pollution as they travel (dynamic exposure). Their measurements will also be visible in real time on the dashboard we are developing within the COMPAIR project. Participants will then get a view of how good or bad the air quality is on their route. This data can also enable researchers to better identify the air at local points.

» Static measurements

Telraam-sensorBecause traffic counts are expensive and scarce, further research is necessary. Citizens can help collect more traffic data by using the TELRAAM sensor they can hang on their windows.

Purpose of the project

VMM is investigating a range of sensors to measure personal exposure (including to NO2 and PM). These sensors will be compared, and the most appropriate one will be chosen for the experiment. Pilot experiments are being conducted in Flanders, Athens, Berlin and Sofia.

The project aims to develop a tool set for measuring exposure to air pollution:

  • Validating and improving existing air quality models
  • Informing citizens about their personal exposure (through apps, dashboards, etc.)
  • Achieving behavioural changes (reducing exposure & emissions)
  • Informing policy-makers

In the next phase, the project aims to link dynamic exposure to health effects.

More information on COMPAIR »



COMPAIR in Europe

Horizon 2020 COMPAIR was commissioned by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme, led by Digital Flanders.


Project partners

Digitaal Vlaanderen (Coördinator)



Flanders Environment Agency


Energy Agency of Plovdiv

Sofia Development Association


inter 3 - Institute for Resource Management

European Citizen Science Association

Fraunhofer Institute for Telecommunications - Heinrich-Hertz-Institute


Athens Technology Centre

Dimos Athinaion Epicheirisi Michanografisis

University of the Aegean - Information Systems Laboratory


Stichting IMEC Nederland

SODAQ Holding B.V.

United Kingdom

21c Consultancy

The project will run from 01/11/2021 to 31/10/2024.

VMM contributes to the international policymaking and the implementation of environmental obligations.

» About VMM


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Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) covers three main areas: water, air quality and climate (adaptation).