DivAirCity H2020

Aarhus

About Aarhus

Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark situated on the Jutland peninsula’s east coast and in the middle of region with its same name. 

Initially founded as a harbour settlement at the mouth of the Aarhus River, it quickly became a trade hub open to the world. It’s charming old town open-air museum called Den Gamle By, is mady up of centuries-old timbered houses. It is a historical city with a Botanical Garden, the ARoS art museum and has an underground Viking Museum exhibiting early local history. As of 2022, it has a population of approximately 350,000 inhabitants.

In the last decades, Aarhus has seen an unprecedented urban transformation with many new institutions, infrastructure projects, city districts and recreational areas. Both the skyline and land use of the inner city is changing, as former industrial sites are being redeveloped into new city districts and neighbourhoods.

Why was it chosen as a ‘Pilot City’

Aarhus is a medium city representing the northern part of Europe. The city aims to be climate neutral by 2030 and has planned investments of 14 million euro in climate funding to reduce CO2. The Municipality has also established a “Board of Citizenship and Diversity”. In addition, Aarhus has been selected to be a mentor city in the Intelligent City Challenge. Aarhus is a member city of the Covenant of Mayors and Rainbow Cities Network. 

The main objectives of the city of Aarhus
are aligned with those of DivAirCity, which are:

Better air quality

Decarbonisation goals

Become a greener city

Active citizenship

The Living Lab of Aarhus is focused on ‘nature based solutions (NBS) health &air quality (AQ) impact traced by internet of things (IoT) -Citizens as resources”, centered around using a crowdsensing approach that increases awareness and transforms it into concrete actions towards improving the AQ and decarbonisation of the city.

Area of Intervention

The NBS will improve the air quality and quality of life for vulnerable groups (minorities, elderly, disabled people, women, LGBTQ+) through various activities. 

Activities in the City

The solutions, which will be implemented, are:

The Green screen and the pocket park:

Our objective is to enhance air quality specifically for individuals under the height of 150 cm. Those below this height, including wheelchair users, children, and individuals seated on benches, are often more vulnerable to heightened levels of air pollution. In collaboration with local residents, we are devising and implementing a substantial green screen composed of plants with targeted air-purifying properties. This screen will serve as a protective shield, mitigating the impact of traffic-related pollutants on individuals. Moreover, we are creating a revitalized seating area that offers improved refuge from traffic, ensuring a more comfortable resting space for all.

The Clean air pathway :

Introducing the “Clean Air Pathway”: a meticulously tested route vetted by diverse civic groups employing mobile air measurement sensors. This innovative pathway beckons Aarhusians to traverse areas characterized by safety (restricted traffic, secure crossings, ample lighting, and hazard-free surfaces), health (enhanced air quality), and sensory allure (engaging experiences to stimulate the senses). Prior to its unveiling, air quality along this alternate route was rigorously assessed and contrasted against that of a heavily trafficked thoroughfare.

Green Screen + lommepark

The aim is to improve air quality for people below the height of 150 cm.
Below this height, people are often more exposed to higher concentrations of air pollution, e.g.
wheelchair users, children, people sitting on a bench.
Together with local citizens, we develop and install a large green screen consisting of plants with specific air purifying qualities.
The screen will act as a protective barrier between people and traffic, and we will establish
a new seating environment where people can take a rest better shielded from traffic than before.

The Clean air pathway

Accessible, ‘cleaner air’ route; a route that has been tested by different citizen
groups with mobile air measurement sensors will invite Aarhus residents to move
through areas that are safe (limited traffic, safe crossings, good light, no unsafe
surfaces), healthy (cleaner air) and have something attractive to experience
(stimulating use of senses). On this alternative route, the air quality was previously
measured and compared to the air quality on a route with heavy traffic.

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