Citizen Science Revolution Documentary – Making Sense EU Project

Making Sense: Advances and experiments
in participatory sensing Co-funded by the European Commission within the call H2020 ICT2015
Research and Innovation action. Making Sense explored
how open source technologies, digital maker practices and open design
can be used by communities to collect environmental data
and address pressing issues like air quality, noise pollution
and gamma radiation. The consortium was formed by Institute of Advanced Architecture
of Catalonia, Waag Society, University of Dundee,
The Peers Education Network the University of Twente and Joint Research
Centre of the European Commission. Making Sense developed 9 pilots
in Amsterdam, Barcelona and Pristina. Somebody, a company,
I don’t know who exactly, installed these three wind turbines
in this place because it’s quite windy, and unfortunately for this person,
or this company, because of the type
of wind turbines they were, which didn’t comply with the law apparently,
they didn’t get the feed-in tariffs. Therefore, it was not worth it
for them to… to maintain them,
and to produce electricity. The discussion was kept. The electricity in Kosovo… comes from coal. So, yeah,
we have three wind turbines in Kosovo but they are not producing
any energy actually. One of the problems is,
maybe one of the main problems, it’s not easy to quantify
which is the most important, but definitely the two coal-fire plants
of Kosovo. So, the two coal-fire plants,
which are producing 98% of the energy in Kosovo, they are maybe the main source, but they are not the only problem. If you come in the winter from,
I would say October, November, you feel it, you smell in the city centre. Even not in the winter,
you can come in the summer and you will see it sometimes on the coast, You will see that kind of dust. Yeah. This dust is not maybe
the most dangerous type. It’s, I would say, a big-sized dust. – But what you don’t see is the fine dust…
– Yeah, like particles. – Particle matter that you can’t see.
– Yeah. Unfortunately… nothing has really been done. We don’t see a change. This is a problem.
We don’t see a real change. The other issue is we don’t have a lot of data. It’s a young country. It’s young data. We don’t know if it is
really worse or better than before. As you can see here, we have the power plant in Kosovo
near to us. It’s that one, right? Yeah, that is this one, yeah. This it the new one. And there is an older one– It’s over there too.
So you have two power plants? Yes. The older people feel it first,
you know, and the kids, of course. They get sick, regularly, like every three months, and they have to take medicines
and stuff. And do they go to the doctor’s
about these illnesses? Yes, of course,
but mostly the doctors say, “OK, this is a virus”. I used to run every morning
before going to work, and when I came back, I was feeling this hard to breath thing
and coughing. And I had small black dots
coming from my throat, which is very dangerous. Real dangerous. And did you check it with a doctor
or something? I went to the doctor,
and he suggested I take honey with lemon. Everyone thought it was from the winter.
It’s from the cold. And then we found out
it’s actually from the bad air quality. For example, I didn’t know at all
why I was tired during the winter. Why did I sleep that long?
Why was I coughing? Why was I sneezing?
Why was I sick? It’s scary because it’s coming again.
It’s getting cold. November, December and January
are pretty close. We’re going to have winter and snow, and people will have
the same problems. – That’s the worse… time.
– That the worst time.. It comes again and it never stops,
as you can see. The air is not something
that is here or there. The air moves. You have to do things
before the air gets polluted. It’s very usual for people
to know and understand what the problem is. People walk through the street,
and they’ll know it’s polluted. The situation here is horrible. 60 per cent of the kids under the age of six
suffer from lung diseases. This has to come from somewhere. And here we have been exceeding
the air quality norm for years, nationally and at a city level. They know. The city knows it’s a very loud street. You don’t look out your windows,
just to shut it out. There’s still more traffic to come. It gets louder. This is one of the most polluted districts, and where we have
the most educational centres, which is a contradiction in itself, right? The noise might be bearable or not,
but the air pollution is constant. It’s always here. There is always pollution here, until it rains,
when it comes down to the ground. There is always pollution. You can even chew it. On a summers day,
or a day in winter, when it hasn’t rained for a while,
you can chew on the pollution. I know I’m talking to you,
and we’re having a conversation. But in my ear,
I’m hearing this buzzzz. There comes a moment when I think,
I guess they’re talking to me, and we’re understanding each other, because if no,
we’ll get to a point where… It takes a lot of effort to isolate a noise. – That affects your attention, right?
– Of course. One of the problems here
is that the City Council says it’s not true
that there’s pollution. When we first moved here there were police patrols
in the square every day, and there was more or less some control. There were moments where
there would be more people, but then the police would suddenly show up and they dealt with it, and the noise
and the people would disappear. But now, it’s not dealt with. NEIGHBOURS MEASURE SOUND LEVELS
how you engage people in this idea of participating
in sense in their cities, what we call participatory sensing. And we already have 25 participants
who have signed up to be part of this pilot. These are participants
which we are aiming to train, so that they can become the community leaders
of the other two pilots. What does this mean? This means people meeting every week in a place, basically looking at an issue
that they put forward, which they’ve had in their neighbourhood, an issue relating to noise. When we don’t understand something,
our brain says “I don’t understand”, and that’s something we don’t like, and that feeling
is what makes us think there’s a noise. This vibration
exceeds the level by quite a bit. In fact, the low and very low frequencies
are like vibrations really. Those vibrations pass through walls too. Usually, sound meters,
the tools used to measure decibels, use a scale called the dB, from decibels,
scale, the dBA scale. The scale is used
to measure sound pressure, but a correction is applied, so that if the sound pressure
is made up of lower frequencies, which we can’t really perceive very well, the correction diminishes them in a way. It says, no,
I’m going to give them a lower weighting. The official scale gives you
a lower measurement because its median
doesn’t include the lower values. Exactly. The average is higher here. Here, it shows 70 dB, but how about using the C scale,
which captures everything? With the C scale, let’s see… It’s almost 90 dB! With all this going on now! What is the official limit
using their scale? – I think it is around 70 dB, in open spaces.
– Sure. In urban open spaces during the day
it’s 70 dB. – So we’re at the limit now.
– Exactly. You might find it annoying or not,
it depends if you like… that there are lots of people and all that. Yeah, yeah. We’re pretty accustomed to that here too:
the parties, celebrations, meetings, and… noise usually comes along with that. These vibrations will penetrate your home.
They pass through the windows. And they’ll also create nodes
inside the house, in certain places, where the noise is amplified. And there, you really hear… It’s terrible. You really feel the vibrations here,
don’t you? It’s not so much
that you’re hearing something, it’s like… – What a difference now!
– Yeah, yeah. In fact, the noise decreases
with the square of distance. So, I had seen in my previous research, that community champions were key,
in terms of… carrying the flag for initiative, and… convincing and persuading others
to participate, to take part. It’s a soft skill,
but it’s a form of community leadership. These people are something else,
not exactly community champions, they are maybe what Christian Iaione
calls “a nudging class”. Basically, we’ve thought about traffic. Trying to find out how much noise
is produced by urban transport… A class of people who get it very quickly, that this is something important. And they’re enthusiastic,
and they are a collective in themselves. ….and, on the other hand,
trying to relate noise levels with stress. The idea is to sort of look at
how we can raise awareness of what healthy levels are. The reason why we decided
to focus the first pilot around the community champions was because we felt like we needed
to test the methods and the technologies before fully focusing on
addressing an issue because we knew that if we were focusing
on a very specific issue, there was going to be
a huge sense of urgency. We propose the headline:
“The neighbours of the Plaça del Sol, manage to end the problem
of noise in the square”. The goal now for the coming pilots,
where we can test the new sensors, is that we focus on matters of concern,
things that people care about. For example, noise pollution in Barcelona
or air quality in Amsterdam, so that we can really engage
these groups of people, that feel like they have a problem
and therefore they have a need. Our cities are being flooded with sensors,
and most of that information is centralised and people never see it. It keeps the traffic lights running.
It keeps energy moving through the city. So, it shapes our lives but not in a way
that we can reach out and touch and not in a ways that we can influence. And I think the real power
is to put these tools in the hands of people. So basically that’s why it was so important from 2013 until now, 2016, to investigate
how people really use this technology. And these are very novel tools,
as you know, and we didn’t have a lot of knowledge
with regards to how users were, at the end of day, using them. And out of all these ethnographic studies
and usability studies, we basically found that
a big percentage of people disengaged with the project
because they couldn’t set up the sensors. They didn’t have the skills
to very easily get the sensor to start streaming data
into the platform. And I think what’s crucial there for us,
it to put a lot of energy into making the onboarding toolkit. LET’S SET UP YOUR KIT WHAT DEVICE ARE YOU USING
tends to see technology in two ways. It’s either a consumer product, something that is easy to use
one click and go, something that a big corporation the Googles and the Apples
of the world might do, or it’s something far too complex
for them to even care about, right? If it doesn’t look like,
or it’s not as easy to use as an IPhone, I don’t want to use it. OOPS! SOMETHING WENT WRONG. Whereas, when we’re talking
about citizen science we’re often talking about things
that look very complicated to use things that the average person probably wouldn’t want to spend their time
trying to understand how to use. We’ve spent the last few months
redesigning an installation process, what we call an onboarding
into this… sensor, which tries to resolve
some of these things, right? It tries to explain what’s going on
in easy-to-understand terms, uses very graphic visual language,
rather than just… words. I recommend you do one thing,
that’s not here– we’ll add it– to first of all, set the brightness
a large air quality problem. We are a very flat country,
very densely populated. So we have three of the biggest harbours
in Europe next to each other, and that brings a lot of industry,
a lot of infrastructure, a lot of traffic. So, we have a lot of sources of pollution
in a very small country. How does air pollution affect our health? The impact of air pollution
is like a boomerang targeting us. We, the 600,000 inhabitants of Pristina,
sleep restlessly. Even last year, we had smog and pollution levels which exceeded the normal levels. We should be more aware during peak hours
so we can stay inside. The country is really poor.
It’s the poorest in Europe. Also, we have a number of cars, almost the highest per capita, per person, and the age of these car is really old. If we start with bronchitis,
bronchiectasis, pneumonias, absence from work, low immune system,
risk to the lymphatic system, nervous system and reproductive system. We have a lot of coal in Kosovo,
and that’s normal. As a poor country, we will use
the cheapest way to produce electricity. What is interesting in the policy making
about the environment… Because the power plants of Obilić are the main source of industry pollution, because they produce not only
the smoke and particles from the burning, but the ash from the coal
is just put in a big… – Mountain.
– Yes, like a mountain of ash. And during the winds,
because we are in a valley, we don’t have something to stop the ash. All that ash comes to Pristina,
that is the biggest city. You can see that during the winter,
the snow, after a day without snow,
will have a line of ash. A layer of ash. For PM2.5, the limit,
the World Health Organisation’s guideline, is exceeded three times. That’s a lot. If you take this number three times,
in this part of Pristina, where there is this device, it means that according
to the World Health Organisation, the risk or premature mortality
is 15% higher. So, when people tell me it’s getting better,
yes, but it was really bad before. Casinos, McDonald’s, restaurants, bowling alleys, swimming pools,
water parks… They are entire cities,
that are docked in the port of Barcelona, and never turn off their engines. They are polluting
all the time that they are here. They don’t connect to anything electric,
which is one of our demands. They are constantly emitting gases, and the type of fuel that these boats use
is one of the most harmful to human health. There is a lot of air circulation here. It is difficult… to say the level of air pollution,
when there is a lot of air circulation. – There is a lot of movement.
– It’s not a good place to take readings. Here, no, not exactly,
for that exact reason. What it does tell us
is that the particles per million are higher. But it’s a tool for comparing what the relationship is,
for example between the levels of nitrogen dioxide which are related
to the burning of fossil fuels, and sound. Which is obvious in theory, right? – When there’s more noise, they’ll be more…
– Exactly. Exactly. CITIZEN SENSING Right now,
we’re looking at the bio indicators, which are one of the key elements
in defining air pollution in Pristina. Because apart from the tools,
the technical ones that we use to sense air, we also have a really good picture
of how pollution is affecting bio life, especially trees and forests. So before we start… We can compare
the air pollution in Pristina to the winter season. – OK with you?
– Yeah, A-OK. So, we are measuring the Pm. Yeah, when the colour is green,
it means the air pollution is quite low. – Yeah… Yeah, it’s OK.
– It’s OK? And when you measure
in the winter it goes red? Yeah, it turns red, and then it’s more than 100, 120,
or something like that. We can identify the diversity number,
the type and the number of each square. We measure and record all the data. We specify the sample location and sea level. We have seven patterns from type one. – Seven from one?
– Yes. Our body has its immune system, and when it senses bigger particles,
like PM10 or bigger, you start coughing or sneezing,
to get those particles out of your system, but PM2.5 and smaller, are particles which cannot be sensed
by the body. What is the level here now? It’s green for now. – In winter it goes to 200, 140.
– Oh, it’s a big difference. It’s a big difference. Is the sample you’re taking now
rich in diversity? We have a level of diversity of around 80. According to the manual,
eighty is a good scenario. Now, it’s yellow,
so it’s meh, it’s good. It’s not bad. When it gets red,
or orange, or red, or purple, It gets worse and worse. Purple is poisonous. Red is dangerous. We are far from the city centre
and air pollution. Also the forest has its own micro climate. So, it’s safe to say,
the conditions for high diversity are good. Wherever there’s an incinerator,
or construction, or traffic,
the air pollution or PM2.5 it gets higher. When you are capturing data as a citizen,
if you put a sensor on your balcony you are becoming part
of the infrastructure of the city If we look at the sensor inside the house, at 7.26 pm we have a sound level of 57.95 decibels. And if we check the outdoor sensor, which is here, on the balcony, we have at the moment,
a sound level of 68.86 decibels. Well, add a kilo of salt to a meal, because you like salt, right? – If you eat a kilo of salt you will die.
– Yeah. It is a first level toxin. It’s like everything else.
The city is a system of proportions too. There are some rules to the game. The issue, you could say,
is that you need make people’s rest and people’s normal lives
compatible with fun. The sensor outside is showing
a level of 68 decibels, and the one inside,
has a level of 59 decibels. If you put 70 people in a square with, lets say, with alcohol… Exactly. The more alcohol they have in their systems,
the more the level of decibels will increase. Then what happens?
The place becomes unliveable. It’s 9:50 at night, and the indoor sensor
is showing more than 66 decibels, and the exterior kit is showing 75 decibels. Right now we’re measuring
particulate matter, PM2.5, and it’s already over the limit. So we have about 40 particulate matter
per metre square. The point is,
that due to the airflow, and the air conditions, we have established that pollution
does not stick around here for a very long period, but steam and heat carries the pollution
about 2-3km towards Pristina, and that’s where Pristina
actually gets its pollution from. This is like one of the key sources. We tried to follow, in a way,
particulate matter patterns, starting from here up to Pristina, and we noticed that along the way,
the closer we got to the city outskirts, that’s when we got the highest values. Because the closer we are to here,
it still hasn’t started to drop. Once the spread of pollution starts dropping,
that’s when we get higher levels. In ancient Greece,
they already knew everything, didn’t they? They distinguished
between the citizen and the idiot. Idiot, comes from ‘idios’,
which means ‘oneself’, like in idiosyncrasy. An idiot was someone
who only cared about their own affairs, without participating in common issues. Whereas, the citizen is someone,
who without giving up their individuality, sets aside time to participate
in the assembly, to share efforts,
to make things work better. Recently, news articles have appeared
in the Guardian and other media outlets, that calculate… how many normal petrol vehicles
are equivalent to a cruise. Astronomical figures
are being considered, between 35,000 and 50,000, from the amount of emissions
they produce. When you know you’re breathing
polluted air, you get a little bit more afraid, and your nervous system will have increased blood pressure,
a faster heartbeat, and an increased volume of lungs because you’re going
to start taking in more air to get the same amount of oxygen. But because of the fear,
you need more oxygen because your organism produces adrenaline and the muscles and all the parts
that prepare the organism for… The main purpose of a species
is to remain in time. In fact, our brain… could have a sense… like… like a system of anticipation
that allows us to secure our future. The problem is that our crazy heads… with the use of energy and technologies has led us down a path… where we’ve never before
had so many uncertainties about the future, including the extinction of humankind. AMSTERDAM,
NETHERLANDS People live on average 13 months shorter
just from air pollution alone, and almost nobody knows this. You have
these official measurement stations, and they are kind of the experts, and the experts say,
well, this is how it is, and you better believe us,
and there’s not time for that anymore. So, I think there’s a big urgency, and a need for people
to take matters into their own hands. And fortunately they can, because the technology has become
so cheap, and so small, and so powerful, that what was once
a place for experts only, is now a place for all of us. And after these projects, do you feel like you’re feeling
more experienced, or more… Yeah! … how do you say, self-confident
using technology for these kind of issues? Absolutely, because this is ideal
for measuring during the day and evening, because the other measurements are global. They’re just a period of time,
a month, or a year. – Yeah.
– And this is real time. You can see it on the spot,
what it is. And then it’s added to it all,
but in the… Like if there’s enough, or a lot of traffic,
the output is high. – OK.
– And you see it’s moved. This is really….
All the wall, the building, this is the best position. You have to go down really,
because above the pollution is diluted. In the daytime
this is an easy and quiet street, right? Yes, like you can see now. There’s not much traffic here but… You have to… Do not block the sensor! – This one goes inside.
– Yeah. It’s… It’s so… It’s so difficult to… let them see the light…
for the most practical things. And with traffic here
in this middle-aged town, you can say, what is a car doing here? Take your bike. It’s healthy.
It’s noiseless. It’s cheap. It’s not taking up any room.
Well, some, but hardly any. Everything… It’s not stinking,
and it’s not using fossil fuels. Why was it important for you to participate
in the project? Because I personally have health complaints: I’m very often short of breath
and I don’t have a good blood circulation. And, because of that… I’m susceptible to air pollution. With this kind of cloudy weather, I notice my body feels heavy, and… I breathe differently. – And has it gotten worse?
– Yes, yes. It has become much worse
in the past few years. There was a special opportunity. I knew this street
was going to be closed to traffic, so there would be no traffic on this street. That was special. So we kept measuring
during the week the street was closed, so you could literally see in real time
that it had an effect. – No traffic does have an effect.
– Yeah. What was your first question then? Well, here in the front yard,
it’s very quiet. You are probably, “what’s the buzz?” It used to be busier. There was a company,
just where you can see those cars. And they were often loading
and unloading stuff, so you always had queues with all those diesel motors.
It was unbelievable! I could smell it in my house. Sometimes it gave me a headache. And the nice thing about it was,
that you could monitor it in real time. I would check a few times per week. And sometimes the front yard
was cleaner than the back yard. – I found that shocking!
– Yeah. For me personally,
it was special when there was no traffic. You were measuring
the background pollution. That was interesting. That was far lower than
the 40 micrograms NO2 level. With a bike,
you’re giving a solution for a lot of things. Ban cars from towns and cities, please. I’ve transported stones.
I do everything with my bike. It’s like a car to me. I feel like Banksy! – Hello!
– Wow! CITIZEN AWARENESS We are designing technologies
for individuality and narcissism,
and that’s what you get. In fact, we know that we can design
for altruism, we can design for communities. But apparently, that’s not what… you know, what… companies actually want to do,
but I think you get what you fund. And what’s actually being funded now
are technologies that encourage narcissism, individuality, look at me, look at me,
look at what I’m doing. I think we probably have to ask ourselves
a deeper question, which is “why?” You know, the purpose. So, it’s like a philosophical question:
What’s the purpose of… of our life? Is it to enhance our individual capacity? Is it to create a community? Is it to consume as much as we can
while we are here? Is it actually to leave
a better footprint behind you? So, I think those questions
need to be looked at, in my opinion. I don’t want to get too philosophical,
but if you don’t ask those questions, when you are designing technologies, then you will end up
being part of the same loop, won’t you? The Instagram team, the Google team,
of technology a group of the smartest people in the world
and they’re focused on how to make money, and they’re focused on
how to optimise search, or optimise marketing,
or optimise a picture sharing app. Right now, all these people
are trying to figure out ways to build the newest and best
and most entertaining pieces of software, yet… we are not using software
in ways that can better our lives. And for me, that’s a big reason
why I came aboard Making Sense because there’s so many apps out there
that are just…. just pointless, frankly just pointless,
you know. We all have apps in our pockets, where I can share a picture
and get 15 likes and throw a couple of hashtags
and I get a couple of hundred more likes, or I can have a Facebook post
that can be shared across the world, and while doing that Facebook knows
exactly how to market materials to me because I spend time on it. And the whole ecosystem of software,
I think is about how to entertain… and we have so little people
and little projects focused on how to better our lives. How can we design technologies
that actually… promotes the best side of ourselves? That promotes… pro-social behaviours,
collaboration and active participation, democratic participation. We have a responsibility,
and what we do has consequences. Yeah. I liked the ideas
that I could do something good. Again, technology is just a tool.
I completely agree. Technology is not good or bad,
it’s not dangerous, or just for fun, it depends on how you use
and why you use it. And then what I like about this project
is that actually I can speak about technology with everyone. I mean, to be able to explain
what I am doing with technology, because if someone is asking me,
“OK, what are you doing with your sensor?”. I can explain it. They can understand me wen I say,
“yeah, we need to measure the quality of the air or the noise level”, because everyone… has felt sometimes
the need to complain about, I don’t know, a bad smell on the street, or if it’s too noisy
when there’s a concert and…. So, what we are doing, well… with this technology, we are developing tools
that you can use for your needs. Exactly, for whatever you want. You and your community, and you can go to the government,
or you can not go to the government, anything that you want to do with it,
and that’s… That’s the best thing about Making Sense. – It’s powerful, I think.
– It’s very powerful. I was talking with… with this…. girl from a magazine,
a well know magazine. She was saying,
at some point, we are at risk of becoming
the pets of our smartphones. Your smartphone
will tell you where to go. It’s gonna tell you what to buy.
It’s gonna tell you who to talk to. So, basically you’re like
the pet of your phone. Petabytes are circulating right now,
of interactions: people sending messages,
videos, broadcasting, tracking the movement of bikes,
cars, busses. We handle these massive amounts of data you know, circulating in the city. I don’t know if you are aware of that.
We need to be aware of that as citizens. BARCELONA
SPAIN We are going to get into the noise issue,
which in Barcelona is really quite important. In Balmes street, for example, the levels recommended by the World Health
Organization are exceeded, as well as the levels permitted
by the European Union. The idea with these sensors is that, even if they don’t have
an official certificate, what makes them more reliable
is the number of sensors there are. And with the amount of sensors out there,
there’s more visibility. If there are 25 sensors that show that noise levels
are higher than average levels, then people may be right in saying
there’s a lot of noise here. The sensors of the City Council,
on the other hand, might be in a park. The official City Council sensors
are often in parks, and I think,
“why would they put a sensor in a park?” We began to look at and analyse, was what was this noise,
which the discussion focused on? And from there,
with the sensors we began to capture data. When you have some data in your hands, you have the possibility
and the power to use it. EFFECTS OF NOISE: VERTIGO,
HEARING LOSS, INSOMNIA, MIGRAINS It’s almost 11.20, it’s 11.18pm. and outside there’s a level of 80.8 decibels. It used to be a square
where children would go out to play. Where there was a lot of noise,
but it was the sound of children. How can we communicate to people who apparently aren’t interested
in anything we have to say, what silence is? If you see the sound in Plaça del Sol
it has a slightly weird curve because when it should begin to drop
from seven o’clock in the evening, it starts to increase! Really thinking about sensing
as just part of our being in the city. It’s part of perceiving.
It’s part of seeing. That data, that insight from data,
should form part of the conversation, part of the experience
of being in the city, of being a citizen. There’s no point in having just one sensor,
putting it outside of your window, and then thinking,
oh, I’m a smart citizen now. No, the only way that we can become smart
is when we do this together. We invest in our knowledge,
we invest our time, we invest our efforts, we go out and then we might become something
that’s more…. I’d say, we might become more powerful
than we are now. We can do an activity:
We all make noise and then measure it, OK? One, two, three… So, it’s 00:16, Saturday 13th of May, and inside there’s
a level of 48.85 decibels, and outside, there’s a level of… 82.32 decibels. EFFECTS OF NOISE Hi, it’s eight o’clock at night,
and it’s going to be one of those nights. There are already guitars, people singing,
having a good time, but at home we can’t hear the TV,
because the volume out here is… exorbitant. We have to think,
what are the factors that we have to consider… in order to change the use of the square, which is what ultimately influences…
The noise comes from how the square is used. OK, I have a question: Is there a lot of difference between when a waste vehicle
passes by, like now, – to when a fire engine passes by…
– Yes. …or an ambulance? This is kind of the goal of Making Sense: to observe how people live somewhere. There are places,
where there’s a lot of noise, and people aren’t aware of it. Right now, there are people out there,
who aren’t aware of the people at home complaining. CITIZEN ACTION You can be an angry citizen
and sit back and do nothing, or you can be maybe angry
about something, and feel an opportunity
to make something better. I think because of the simplicity of it, and because it doesn’t start
with an angry citizen or something. It starts with children, and could also start with adults
that are really curious about what’s happening around them. And… I think this curiosity
is a very positive thing. And… from there, of course,
you also see problems, and you maybe want to solve those problems. But it starts with this really
research-driven, curious mentality, that you actually want to initiate. In fact,
you would like everybody to be… I would like everyone to be like that. It’s also an openness… and a way to look at the world
in a very open way. This car is driving around here. While the car goes by,
these people are talking. The noise that these people
and the car make, arrives to this button here. It’s pure incivility. And depending on the noise they make,
all the information is transmitted here and it changes…to different colours. It’s one thing to go for a walk
or sit out… …and here it converts noise into coins, and the coins make it possible to maintain the whole noise circuit. Also through a mobile phone, there is a way to run a test,
certified in the United States, that measures your hearing. Using this data,
we could also make correlations and see if the people
who live in the square lose their ability to hear
earlier than others. What’s really important for me
is seeing the communities. Some communities are pretty angry. – Yeah.
– You know? They’re not necessarily coming
because of an interest in the technology and they like to play with that. They come
because they have a real problem, and quite often,
they’ve had a problem that’s… they’ve been trying to solve
for a long time. So, a project like Making Sense
comes along and they think,
ah, they can solve it for us. Yeah. But actually, what we discover,
and what I’m really passionate about is that we can’t solve it for them. There’s an issue
we’re always running away from, and it’s a political issue here. WINTER IS COMING… The most beautiful thing
is that the youth is doing this, not the policy-makers,
this comes from the bottom and I think it’s going to go to the top. Air pollution,
in the level that exists in Pristina, which is being monitored by organisations, including yours, wasn’t presented to people in a soft way. There shouldn’t be panic among citizens. We had a table with leaflets
and air sensing devices and we were measuring in real time,
and showing people in real time how bad the air quality was. And it was continuously bad. And how do you see young scientists
who are engaged in measuring the air quality? This was the aim of the municipality:
to be engaged in this and to raise citizens’ awareness
about pollution, to come forward with a concrete measurement or result so we can inform citizens. This is the job of the Environmental Protection Ministry
and Agency. We, as a municipality,
our sole aim was to make citizens aware
that there is pollution. If we talk about the December campaign, we had dolls in the square,
and they were holding signs, with things like,
“my lungs are exploding”, or ” I can’t take it anymore”,
something like that. And it was such a strong hit for people. The police came and they were asking,
do you have a permit to do this? And did you have it? – We had a permit.
– Yeah? We try to use all the data to get something done about the pollution
in this street and in the other streets… in Amsterdam. So, we try to convince the city… to act upon the figures
and not do nothing. It’s also a big source of frustration
for citizens because they don’t realise that even if you have
a very good citizen science measurement, – there’s no legal value attached to it.
– Exactly. You can’t use it as an argument in a discussion with the government
or the municipality. One of the challenges
is to make people understand that they can do interesting things
with citizen science measurements, but they can’t use it for legal purposes. And you’ve been measuring
the pollution here too, right? – Yes.
– With airbins and– With airbins, with tubes… with Citizen Kits. There were more methods
that we use here. Air pollution causes problems,
like most of the older people are getting sick… with breathing problems, like cancer. Like cancer?
Do you have a lot of people with cancer? Yes. Well, in the future… I believe if the government, if the members from this power plant, the first and the second,
change the filters, you know,
maybe we will not have such a… problem from cancer. The level of cancel would be lower. Today is Friday, October 13th, It’s 11:30 at night.
We are in the Plaça del Sol. As you can see, it’s full of people.
It’s really loud. It is pretty demoralizing, to see that despite the fact that we insist,
that we try to improve… the situation, We have very little help from the council,
if any. They have installed some planters
by the stairs to stop people sitting there. Very frustrating
to be in this situation because after all our discussions
with the council, after the Making Sense project, and with the use of the sensors
showing that we really are enduring
very high noise levels, we see that the issue of coexistence
isn’t dealt with because there is not enough political will
from the city council. And this is the reason
why we are not leaving Plaça del Sol: We don’t want to give up our place of daily peace
which we want to hold onto. Nowadays, there’s so many discussions
about democracy and lack of representation, and I very much agree,
but also I think people forget that since the French Revolution
until now the idea of democracy, the idea of sovereignty,
is that the citizen is above the state. Now, it’s like
we think that we are below the state, but we are really not. For many of us
the most important thing was to stop feeling like victims,
like we have for years. If we don’t raise our voices now,
and the youth of course, I think the government
will not do anything. People are sovereign. And people come together
to create the state, to manage what they have in common. But this thing, this apparatus,
is actually below us. – We have the power.
– Yeah. And I think technology
has somehow been forgotten. The technologies that we have now allow us to hack
this malfunctioning democratic system and bring power back to people. ADVANCES AND EXPERIMENTS
this youth organisation and to raise awareness
and to tell people that we can fix this together, because it’s not only us,
it’s going to be you, together with us, who is going to make a change. CITIZEN SCIENCE REVOLUTION:

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