Enhancing Citizen Observatories for healthy, sustainable, resilient and inclusive cities

CitiObs supports citizen science initiatives (Citizen Observatories) that measure air quality in cities. Existing citizen science methods and tools from different countries will be mapped and further developed. CitiObs also gathers and disseminates knowledge on how to set up a successful and inclusive Citizen Observatory. This relates to doing measurements with sensors, but also relates to how those findings can contribute to research and policymaking.


Citiobs will support citizen observatories in distinct cities to create/enhance/or scale up inclusive and diverse citizen observatories, fostering, in particular, an active role of citizens in the observation of the urban environment using low-cost sensor technologies and wearables, with a particular focus on air quality and related environmental measures.

In order to support citizen observatories, CitiObs aims to develop tools and approaches for citizen science in co-creation with Citizen Observatories in six Frontrunner cities, finetuned with 30 Implementer cities and showcased to 50 Fellow cities. There will be one Frontrunner city in the Netherlands. Cities can apply to be an Implementer or Fellow city at a later stage.


CitiObs is led by the Norsk institutt for luftforskning (NILU). Partners in the consortium come from various backgrounds: data science, modelling, ecology, community building, inclusivity and art. This ensures that both the social and technical dimension of citizen science is addressed and is an important asset of this project.

RIVM role

Through our citizen science programme 'Measure Together' (Samen Meten in Dutch), RIVM has much expertise in data science methods such as calibration. In CitiObs, we will share our expertise in calibration methods and the Analysis Together Tool so that they can also be used in other countries. Furthermore, we are connected to the citizen science community in the Netherlands and abroad. In CitiObs, we will work closely with the cities involved in the project.

Hester Volten coordinates CitiObs at RIVM.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101086421.