Published on 18 May 2023
The Captographies project, financed under the Interact 2023 call for projects, is a collaboration between the University of Lausanne and the Directorate of Housing, Environment and Architecture of the City of Lausanne. It studies the quality of air in the city and its impact on health. In order to raise citizens’ awareness of the impact of air pollution, the project leaders are implementing a participatory approach. Discover the Captographies’ programme!
Air pollution is estimated to be the third most common cause of preventable death in Europe after alcohol and tobacco. In Switzerland, it causes an average loss of one and a half years of life expectancy (Lelieveld and al., 2019). The Captographies project measures the pollution levels of certain districts of Lausanne, via a network of low-cost fine particle sensors assembled, installed, and supported by the population.
Within the framework of the Interact call for projects, the Captographies project will be deployed at the Lausanne level and will serve as a laboratory for future deployment at the cantonal level. The implementation of the project is divided into several stages:
The citizens get the sensor assembly kit at a first workshop organised by the project leaders. At this meeting, participants co-build and co-configure the sensors, before installing them on their balconies or windowsills.
The image on the right shows the fully assembled sensor (©Captographies project).
By measuring the fine particles present in Lausanne’s neighbourhoods, the project leaders intend to provide an overview of the city’s overall pollution and thus raise awareness of its direct impact on health (weakening of the respiratory tract and cardiovascular system). The establishment of a more precise cartography of air quality will also make it possible to improve Lausanne’s public policies linked to the Climate Plan, the vegetation strategy and urban planning.