Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

EC DG Research

Overall project value

EUR 479,250


May 2016 – April 2020

Beneficiary countries

European Union

Number of staff


Drawing on the latest social science thinking, the CLAiR-City project puts citizens’ behaviour and daily activities at the heart of air quality and carbon management and policy making, thus stimulating the public engagement required to tackle challenging emissions problems through the development of a range of citizen-led future scenarios and policy packages.

The CLAiR-City project aims to substantially improve future air quality and carbon policies in European cities by initiating new ways to engage citizens, stakeholders and policy makers. The goal is to generate fundamentally new insights into the integration of citizens and stakeholders into air quality policy making.

Sources of air pollution emissions will be apportioned not only by technology, but also by citizens’ behaviour and daily activities. Using an innovative quantification and engagement toolkit to facilitate multi-stakeholder dialogue in six European pilot cities, the project will enable citizens and other stakeholders to discuss the role of air quality and carbon policies for citizens’ health, well-being and future quality of life. The results of this dialogue and engagement process will be evaluated and will provide policy input at city, national and EU levels. The toolkit itself will target all EU cities with over 50,000 citizens.

CLAiR-City goes beyond state-of-the-art solutions by:

  • integrating the latest insights from the social sciences and changing current methods of emissions analysis and predictive modelling, giving the project the potential to reframe and fine tune policy and action at city, national and EU levels;
  • using real-time data for both game and app environments;
  • using citizen-centered modelling blended with the traditional modelling approaches that have been used to date for the assessment of air quality, thus providing decision makers with a coherent platform for the assessment of scenarios;
  • including behaviour and social practices (employment, education, healthcare, shopping and leisure pursuits) in source apportionment rather than looking only at what sort of machinery is responsible for emissions;
  • creating tailor-made city approaches that take into account climate, wealth, culture, demography, dominant sectors and other parameters that can influence the effectiveness of measures aimed at improving urban air quality;
  • using high-resolution geographical modelling that acknowledges hotspots of activity and poor air quality by adding a high level of detail with respect to citizens (age, education level, household type, income etc.) and geography; and
  • carefully analysing existing policy approaches, citizens’ views on desired future policies, as well as perspectives and limitations for future actions, and including not only other environmental policies, such as climate change, air pollution and noise reduction policies, but also wider economic and social well-being policies.

Activities will include:

  • examining the relationship between citizens’ behaviour and air quality, carbon emissions and health impacts in cities, taking into consideration the latest social science theory;
  • engaging citizens and stakeholders and raising their awareness of their city’s air quality and carbon footprint, their exposure to air pollution and the subsequent health impacts, and their responsibilities in moving to a low-carbon, clean air future;
  • developing a series of innovative toolkits for enhanced quantification, engagement and impact evaluation;
  • developing an innovative and interactive game, app and competition to enhance citizens’ understanding of the connections between their behaviour and air quality, carbon footprint and health impacts;
  • highlighting similarities across borders and between cities;
  • developing a quantification toolkit that helps to apportion responsibility for air pollution, carbon emissions and health outcomes not just by source but by behaviour and activity, in order to help citizens understand the impact of their decisions and actions on air quality, carbon emissions, exposure and health;
  • assessing the integration of citizen’s behaviour in relevant city policies and ensuring that future city policies reflect citizens’ visions for the future;
  • developing detailed citizen-led low-carbon, clean-air future pathways for cities based on innovative integrated modelling, policy evaluation, big data analysis and immersive engagement methods;
  • raising awareness of environmental challenges and their solutions through the proactive dissemination of outcomes, including case study results, to EU cities; city, national and EU policy makers; and the general public; and
  • developing platforms for rolling out the CLAiR-City toolkit and method to all EU cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
  • Research
  • Assessment
  • Awareness raising
  • Policy recommendations