Welcome to the WeCount Project on ChangeX. We're excited to empower as many communities as possible to become citizen scientists and gather and analyse the data needed to influence policy decisions in our local neighbourhoods on issues of sustainable mobility. Here you'll find all you need to get started!
- Francesco Pilla, WeCount Project Leader UCD
WeCount is a European project that enables citizens to initiate a policy-making process with fully automated measurement data in the field of mobility and air quality. The concept is simple: with a sensor in combination with a low-cost computer and software, anyone can measure the traffic and air pollution in his or her street. And with this measurement data,...
WeCount is a European project that enables citizens to initiate a policy-making process with fully automated measurement data in the field of mobility and air quality. The concept is simple: with a sensor in combination with a low-cost computer and software, anyone can measure the traffic and air pollution in his or her street. And with this measurement data, an individual citizen or a group of citizens can contact the local or regional government and advocate for more sustainable mobility in the area. We will empower local communities and schools with low cost sensors to monitor traffic volumes, speed and composition (cars, pedestrian, bikes and heavy vehicles) along with air pollution (particulate matter). We will also provide tools to analyse the data and produce policy proposals for more sustainable local mobility.
The sensors will provide evidence that local communities and schools can then use to demonstrate how their local areas are affected by high traffic volumes, speeding, high levels of air pollution etc. It will also provide evidence of the need for adequate infrastructure for more sustainable mobility by showing that the area has high numbers of people cycling while there might be no protected cycling lanes.
What you can do
You can lead a group in your local area to install monitors and gather the data need to make better informed decisions around sustainable mobility in your local area. As part of the Microsoft Community Challenge, you can access the funding needed to buy the monitors (€500) and then work with the wider WeCount Network to analyse the data and take action.
I've been interested in gathering transportation data for years around my village. The traffic has always been terrible and unacknowledged by the council which wouldnt accept (rightly in fairness) the anecdotal evidence of locals. WeCount has empowered me to go out into the community and through the support of local volunteers, establish quantifiable evidence of how bad and unsustainable the traffic is in the Castleknock area. I'd never have been able to afford the sensors out of pocket myself so being empowered by receiving the equipment was the spark I needed to set about measuring and thus highlighting an issue that effects all of us in the locality. I've personally found that people are often willing to help when given an opportunity. The WeCount experiment gives us that opportunity. It's been a wonderful experience for me to get in touch with fellow residents and bring together a diverse group of people. We're already gaining really valuable insights into how traffic flows through my area. I am hoping that the data generated can support my Local Authority to deliver improved, sustainable traffic management systems. I am immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in and facilitate the WeCount experiment out in Castleknock and I hope many more in the future get that same opportunity.
- Ger O'Halloran. WeCount Leader in Castleknock, Dublin
How to get involved
You'll need to dedicate a couple of hours to setting up the sensors and initial engagement with your local community. Ongoing monitoring of the data and working with your local community to advocate for policy change will require approximately 2 hours a week.