1 July 2020 to 30 June 2023

The challenge for protecting the environment and improving the quality of the air we breathe will be crucial for the next years.  It is a battle that concerns the health and quality of life of millions of European citizens and, for this reason, mayors and administrators have to accept this challenge.  With the Air Break project, Ferrara intends to embark on an ambitious task alongside its citizens. Because there is no result that can be achieved without participation, enthusiasm and cooperation between administrators and citizens involved.

The general objective of the project is to contribute to the implementation of European, National and local policies on air quality and sustainability, through a set of innovative measures to reduce the air pollution in the city of Ferrara, improving the quality of life of Ferrara citizens. To achieve its main goal, the project will aim at achieving the following Specific Objectives:

  1. Increase knowledge on air pollution distribution, and ensure more effective monitoring and decision capabilities of the public administration and citizens in Ferrara by a multi-source data collection and the installation of a newnetwork of IoTsensors.
  2. Reduce the impact of air pollution in the Ferrara areas, by applying a set of mitigation strategies which includes nature-base solutions and alternatives sustainable transport systems.
  3. Reduce emissions related to vehicle mobility, by incentivizing use of alternative and sustainable soft and smart mobility solutions with a clean commuting approach
  4. Increase the green areas in critical spots of the town including rain/bus station, the citycenter, along the cycling network and congested roads and other relevant aggregation points.
  5. Raise awareness of citizens and city users about the environmental-health issues in relation with air pollution and increasing their active participation involving them in a co-design and co-creation process;
  6. Induce a behavioural change among citizens and cityusers bygamification methods and rewarding mechanisms.
  7. Ensure sustainability and ownership of all proposed solutions after the project’s end, by carefully selecting the most cost-effective ones, integrating them in the MOF’s plans, and developing a robust alliance between citizens and the local administration
  8. Promote AIR BREAK integrated model as example for replication in Italy and European cities, by demonstrating the innovative solutions and communicating the project results to a wide set of target groups.

The project lays its innovation on the integration of complementary solutions:

  • providing in-depth knowledge about air pollution distribution in Ferrara by developing a reliable sensors network and a newData Infrastructure for a rapid data access, allowing local administration to plan specific interventions
  • providing innovative models to incentivize clean commuting and soft mobility, thus lowering the emissions
  • introducing Nature Based (NB) and Smart Solutions to drastically reduce air pollutants in critical spots of the town
  • engaging citizens and stakeholders in a co-creation approach based on innovative gamification and rewarding mechanisms.

Within AIR BREAK, the MoDiS Research Unit is responsible for the set-up, development and operation of sustainable mobility behavior change campaigns targeting different user groups (e.g., commuters, students, tourists) and experimental case studies.