Our final newsletter is here! Six months after the project has ended, find out how our case study partners have been making use of ClairCity outputs and continuing to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies head on.
Over the past four years the ClairCity project has been gathering public opinion on the policies they would like to see implemented to improve the quality of the air we breathe. Over 800,000 citizens were engaged in some way, with over 9,000 direct engagements. The project developed mobile games and apps, hosted workshops and webinars, attended public events, ran school lessons and reached out to marginalised communities to involve a representative group as possible in city decision making across six European cities and regions (Amsterdam, The Aveiro Region, Bristol, The Liguria Region, Ljubljana and Sosnowiec).
After citizens preferences were gathered, they were sense checked with policy makers and then modelled to determine whether their ideas could lower carbon emissions and air pollutants faster than business as usual – and overall they did! While citizens often agree with most of the policies already on the table, they ask for greater speed and implementation to reach net zero carbon emissions and pollution levels that meet WHO guidelines.
For their ambitions to be realised, the loop has to be closed between what citizens want and decision making, from local and regional and beyond. Given the set up of the ClairCity project, it was uniquely placed to facilitate this feedback mechanism. Comprised of universities and SMEs, the project already had established connections with local government and lobbying organisations. Thus, following the production of policy reports for each case study, each local/regional team presented the results to these actors.
In Bristol, the team presented their report to the Bristol Climate Change Advisory Committee, appointed by the current government to inform their work in this area, and sent the report to 80 local Councillors and MPs.
In the Aveiro Region, their report was translated into Portuguese and emailed to the Intermunicipal Community of Aveiro region (CIRA) and government representatives. Given the restrictions placed by Lockdown, it was not possible to present in person by the time the report was available.
Similarly, Sosnowiec had their report translated into the local language of Polish and forwarded it to over 30 governmental departments, government representatives and lobbying groups. The Mayor of Sosnowiec then decided to discuss the policy package during the joint meeting of the Mayor and all his deputies. The Chairman of the City Council obliged all members of the Sosnowiec City Council to familiarise themselves with the contents of the Package and in August, the document was discussed in detail by 2 committees of the City Council:
- the Committee for City Development and Environmental Protection
- the Committee on Municipal Economy and Communication
The Chairman has invited members of the ClairCity working team in Sosnowiec to participate in the meetings.
While we may not know exactly what role ClairCity played in influencing local and regional decision making it is clear that the project team have laid seeds in the minds of various influential actors, who are interested to take a closer look at the results and what they mean.
All of the case studies had to rethink their dissemination activities in light of COVID 19 and understandably this has become a priority for decision makers. However, in spite of this, these issues still want to be discussed. Perhaps it is even because of the growing evidence linking air pollution, health impacts and viral risks that these conversations are gaining traction. Either way, for these six cities and regions, there exists policy packages for each of them that can make inroads in addressing multiple interrelated development issues, which are not only ambitious but have the backing of citizens. We hope these packages will continue to be shared and we welcome interest from other cities and regions looking to carry out similar co-creation processes for cleaner air, healthier citizens and equitable outcomes.
Watch our policy webinar to learn more about the policy packages and our co-creation process, and read the policy briefs here.
On a sunny day in late July, the ClairCity Sosnowiec team made their way to the most popular recreational area in the whole of the city – Stawiki Pond. There aim: to host a competition for residents to improve their knowledge on air pollution, health impacts, sustainable mobility, and ways to combat smog and related issues.
After setting up a marquee with bright ClairCity branding, passers by were invited to test their knowledge on these issues with the chance to win prizes. “The competition was very popular among the residents,” said Edyta Wykurz from the local team.
“Between the questions, we provided the residents with educational and informative content (e.g. where one can get funding for modernization of the home heating system, what the benefits of installing a heating system using renewable energy sources are, how to properly segregate waste, etc.)”. Prizes consisted of a fitness tracker, a ClairCity postcard, reflective band and lanyard and a stop smog sticker.
All of ClairCity’s case study partners have now finished their dissemination activities. ClairCity drew to a close at the end of July and this event was one of the project’s last. Stawiki pond is such a loved space by residents that it was even chosen as a landmark for the Sosnowiec ClairCity Skyline game. It is rather apt therefore that we end our activities in such an iconic place – a place that brings citizens together to be active, to walk, rent bikes, to roller skate and feel safe among the trees and on the beach. An iconic place for Sosnowiec, and a place where a clean air future really does seem possible.
*The event was conducted in accordance with the guidelines of the Polish Ministry of Health regarding the organisation of outdoor events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inside this issue: ClairCity’s strategy for maintaining momentum for action on clean air and carbon reductions during lockdown. Read on to access ClairCity’s new graphics to help with your campaigning, and packs for community activists and educators to spread the clean air message on- and offline. In addition, find out about the projects exciting webinar series, taking place June 2020. Read the final edition here.
Different things appeal to different audiences. With this in mind, ClairCity tailored our approaches when working with different groups and in different contexts. In addition to traditional methods (surveys, workshops) we partnered with local organisations to hold distributed dialogues in community spaces. We also worked with educators to produce schools resources, with developers to produce games and Apps for young adults and tech fans, and with older people to produce films documenting their lived experience of air pollution. These mixed methods ensured a full spectrum of engagement approaches were deployed, maximising our chances of reaching both the general population and more vulnerable groups. As a result, over 8,000 people got involved across Europe, and we had over 770,000 social media impressions (see below).
During our engagements we asked participants about their current behavioural practices as well as their preferred future behaviours and policies for the city in 2030/2050. We opened up for discussion on the gap between their present and future behaviours (if there is one) and what would be required to close the gap.
If you would like to learn more about our approach and how it can support your campaigning then download our community activator pack (high resolution copies of all reports and graphics available upon request):Community Activator Pack Visual Evaluation Report Evaluation Summary Report
A total of 4,887 citizens participated in ClairCity’s Delphi process. Each city and region conducted surveys, on- and offline, followed by additional face-to-face workshops.
During the process, citizens were challenged to think about their behaviours – “If you want to change, what are the reasons why you can’t currently?”. Subsequently they explored difficult policy options and discussed how they could be made easier. For example, a common behaviour citizens wished to change in Liguria was driving – many are willing to drive less. A possible policy measure is to introduce a ban on all private diesel and petrol vehicles from the city centre. According to citizens, to compensate for the elimination of the private vehicle from the roads it would be essential to have frequent public transport and on all the time slots.
Striving for representivity, partner organisations in each case study region defined groups that were likely to be under-represented in their sample, and used their resources and networks to ensure more effort was put into recruiting these groups. For example, this involved street surveys in a region to neighbourhood with a higher non-Dutch population in Amsterdam, attending community festivals in poorer neighbourhoods in Bristol, and using connections through the network of local authorities across the Aveiro spread the survey to a non-urban public.
As a result, the project was able to pool together the collective knowledge and experience of a broad range of local people’s travelling and home heating habits and the opportunities and problems faced in their cities or regions.
Are you a researcher, policy maker or organisation interested in how you can make use of our process in your work? Then click on one of the following:Health or Sustainability Organisation Policy Maker Researcher
We engaged more than 1,500 young people directly during the engagement process, with hundreds of thousands so far reached online and through our downloadable schools resources. We’ve been featured in the British Science Associations annual British Science Week schools pack (primary in 2019 and secondary in 2020) and have resources on Sustainable Learning’s website.
All our resources are now available in this handy Educator Pack! Please download and share widely. If you would like a high resolution copy then get in touch.
Find out more:Educator
We used the power of film to convey the lived experience of vulnerable communities and to showcase how fun sustainable modes of transport can be! 1,000s of people viewed our YouTube videos and the producer of “Anemmu in bici a Zena” – a Ligurian film about cycling, even won an award!
Check out our YouTube page for more information!
Video’s aren’t the only way to capture marginalised voices. Read our Community Activator pack to find out what other approaches you can take, or click the link below!Community Activator
Each city and region attended or hosted events. Talks were given in auditoriums, on the streets and at festivals. Read page 10 of the Community Activator Pack below to find out the pros and cons of different event approaches, and page 10 for a handy events guide. Our blog has some great summaries about specific events – check it out!
Air quality management app
Citizens want access to health and environmental data and apps like ours – GreenAnt – help facilitate this access.
GreenAnt is a free app for mobiles (Apple and Android) alongside a web system that allows you to become a citizen scientist, through monitoring your own and others’ transport activities. Utilising GPS data, you simply let the app run in the background while you get around the city.
Collect data with friends, colleagues, or use as a tool to improve the health of your staff or fellow citizens. The more citizens there are collecting data, the richer the picture we can build about air quality in the city. By making visible the invisible, we can begin to make changes to how we travel.
Mobile decision-making game
ClairCity Skylines allows citizens to step inside the shoes of the Mayor and decide which policy measures you think will keep the city alive and thriving into the future. It is currently available for the six partner cities and regions involved in ClairCity but the concept can easily be adapted for other places. Explore the game if available in your language, or consider using our analogue version available in our Educator Pack (see link above) to get citizens to understand the tradeoffs that have to be made when taking decisions about the future. Choices will inform the ClairCity project about policy making research into air pollution. Get in touch if your city is interested in their own ClairCity Skyline. Available on iOS and Android.
Press the button… you know you want to!Tech Lover
Social media formed a big part of the ClairCity project. We had our main Twitter and Facebook page, and many of our partners also had pages – in Liguria they also had Instagram. On our main sites, we had over 1,350 followers on Twitter, and 401 on the Facebook. During the course of the project this resulted in over 770,000 social media impressions.
We used these platforms to share news, our findings and resources among community groups, cities and regions. Some of our most successful posts were for our infographics (linked below) and the findings from our research. You can read more about the findings in our reports section.