In today’s Spotlight feature, we are proud to present Scent partner Region of Attica and Athanasios Chaldeakis, Project Manager of Scent on behalf of Region of Attica.
Region of Attica is the regional authority governing the wider area of the Athens metropolis.
Through Scent, Attica aims to achieve the following goals:
- Significantly enhance its environmental policy making process by adding a direct citizen participation dimension to it. Until now, citizens have only participated in the context of public consultation processes that have attracted a limited audience;
- Streamline its environmental policy making related to flood prediction and prevention with the dynamic nature of land-use/cover changes;
- Increase, through the Scent toolbox, cooperation processes between different departments that have traditionally not been aligned, e.g. the department of construction works, the department of water and the department of civil protection;
- Enforce its public image especially among the younger generations through Scent public awareness campaigns;
- Benefit from public/private partnerships which will commence within the Scent consortium and will evolve through the Scent workshops inviting industrial stakeholders related to environmental sensors and platforms.
Involvement in Scent
Attica Region leads the work on integration and piloting, which involves the final stage of the toolbox components integration. The piloting also involves organising and running field campaigns relevant to the Kifisos and Danube Delta pilot sites. As the partner responsible for the Kifisos pilot, Attica Region is currently designing the processes and the preparatory activities of dissemination campaigns. Field campaigns will be run in groups of 15-20 citizens, estimated to involve a significant number of participants from the consortium, local end-users, linked organisations and citizens attracted through the Scent dissemination campaigns.
Furthermore, concerning drone flights over the pilot area of Kifisos, Attica is currently working to identify all relevant legal, ethical and security procedures set in National regulations as well as processes of granting permission for drone flights over the Kifisos river.
Reflections on expectations
The expected results for the regional authority of Attica are focused on its environmental policy related to flood prediction and prevention in order to formulate a wetland strategy for their conservation and climate change adaptation. Attica region will organise a large-scale citizen campaign with field visits, where citizens will take on-site images from the pilot site enriching the existing datasets.
The results from the urban pilot case in the Kifisos river will contribute directly to the project’s objectives through the
- provision of the input to test, evaluate and validate the Scent smart toolbox
- increase of the active engagement of citizens
- local authorities monitoring their environment through the creation of a citizen movement.
Scent and the environment
With the implementation of the Scent project, the hydrodynamic and hydrological models that utilise Scent data (from sources such as images and text from citizen smartphones, cameras mounted on light-weight multicopters, portable soil-monitoring sensors), will be enriched. The result will be an increased accuracy of flood-related maps (hazard, damage, risk) and spatio-temporal flooding patterns supporting the flood prediction and prevention and improving the regional environmental policy.
Scent and the public
Attica Region has organised workshops with different groups of people (the general public, members of the scientific community and stakeholders of the civil protection sector) in the beginning of the project, in order to diffuse the goals and the content of the project, and also in order to define the user requirements of the Scent toolbox.
Attica is moreover planning to organise a big dissemination event in the beginning of October 2018, on the occasion of the International Day for the Reduction of Natural Disasters. The event will take place during the first campaigns of the pilot in Kifisos in order to promote the project and attract participants.
For Attica, the next steps include selecting the volunteers and training and involving them in the research. Data will be collected for the implementation of the Kifisos pilot.
What is unique about Scent?
The uniqueness of the Scent project lies in its aim, related to active citizens, the novelty of the involvement of citizens in the research. The scope of Scent includes the execution of large scale demonstration campaigns aimed at a full and real-life Scent citizen observatory application, evaluation and validation. Citizen volunteers, including consortium and end-user members, policy makers and external stakeholders mobilised through the engaging and impactful Scent dissemination activities will participate in these demonstrations and will also conduct a post-pilot evaluation of the Scent toolbox.
Scent and other EU-funded research projects
The main commonality between Scent and other EU-funded projects is the multidisciplinarity of the consortium. Project partners have committed to collaborate to timely implement the work plan, prepare deliverables and ensure high quality of results. They are working in close collaboration and with frequent progress meetings in order to have a clear view of the progress and produce various kinds of outputs – studies, research, reports, prototypes and systems.
Surprises in the first half of the project
The complementarity of the partnership has been a pleasant surprise. There is complementarity in expertise and balance between industry/SMEs, research and end-users – citizen associations as well as public authorities: crowd-sourcing specialists, sensor and remote sensing experts, serious gaming experts, hydrologists, image processing and machine learning specialists, communication experts, regional authorities and volunteer groups closely associated with the two pilot sites.
The overall impact of Scent in three concepts