Air Quality


How can we use data to improve the city’s approach to treating slippery roads in winter?


Air quality has a serious impact many aspects of city life. These include the health of our citizens, who may suffer lung problems or heart disease and the environment, where poor air quality may cause smog and acid rain. The challenge is even stronger in highly urbanised regions in the 2Seas area and historic city centres face their own particular issues regarding narrow ‘canyonised’ streets and the degradation of historic buildings. Currently, it is difficult for cities to have an integrated evidence-based view on air quality and link these to specific circumstances. These may be general, such as time, weather, traffic and events, or particular to the built environment issues such as specific building materials or street layout, where pollutants become trapped by air recirculation between narrow buildings. Once these are identified, how can local authorities have an impact on these to improve the air-quality for our citizens?

Expected Outcomes

  • Integration of air-quality measures, e.g.
    • temporal measures, real-time measures, other open data sources;
    • different measure like NOx, particle measures;
    • from different organisations, suppliers or sensors.
  • Scenario tool for air-quality improvement
    • Gauging the impact of specific measures;
    • What-if scenarios.
  • Real-life feedback integration
    • Closing the loop between using the scenario tool, executing the advised scenario in practice, and measuring the eventual impact on air-quality;
  • Urban planning tool
    • Where to locate specific sites (schools, factories) to minimise the air-quality impact.

Expected Impacts

  • Root causes for air-quality degradation have been identified;
  • Remedial actions have been identified and have been shown to work;
  • In the long run, air quality measures are reduced below World Health Organisation limits on a daily basis.


    • Brugge: Road Register: information on road infrastructure.
    • Brugge: Intersection Register: information on road intersections.
    • Brugge: Traffic measures: information on the amount of motorised and non-motorised traffic on specific roads.
    • Brugge: Particle measures: information from a mobile installation.
    • Brugge: Particle measures: information from a fixed installation.
    • Brugge: Demographic measures.
    • Mechelen: VMM, Flemish environmental society
    • Mechelen: Road infrastructure (street width, gradient, …)
    • Mechelen: Public infrastructure inventory
    • Mechelen: VITO MeetMeeMechelen (independent Flemish research organisation in the area of cleantech and sustainable development)
    • Mechelen: District borders
    • Mechelen: Location of forests
    • Mechelen: Curieuze neuzen (big citizen scientific research on air quality, specifically NO2)
    • Mechelen: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR reporting)