- The city of Pamplona is seeking to become a European reference in the field of smart cities through the Smart Pamplona Lab initiative.
- Kunak is participating in the project by monitoring environmental conditions with its Kunak AIR Pro outdoor air quality sensors system.
- The pollution caused by motor vehicles is one of the main sources of emissions, an issue that takes on a special dimension in cities.
The effect air pollution has on human well-being is an ongoing cause for concern. In this respect, the correlation between traffic density, air quality and health condition is sufficiently documented. Therefore, the need to take measures to prevent the negative consequences of this triangle cannot be delayed any longer.
However, when it comes to implementing these preventive and corrective measures, it is not only health factors that must be taken into account. It is also convenient to consider the implicit economic and social impacts, which can shape the success of the strategy to be developed.
How can all these elements and interests be combined? Possibly one of the best approaches is to start by effectively measuring the different variables. The aim is to determine the degree of participation of each factor in the equation. Initiatives such as Smart Pamplona Lab and the Kunak Green Move project create the ideal framework for highlighting the value of new technologies in outdoor air quality sensors, in our case the Kunak AIR Pro.
Kunak Green Move, analysing the relationship between mobility and air quality
Road transport is one of the main sources of pollution, an issue that is especially prevalent in cities. This is highlighted, for example, in the Air quality in Europe 2020 report, published by The European Environment Agency in November 2020.
How can this situation be reversed and air quality in cities be improved? One of the main measures is to make a firm commitment to sustainable mobility, a strategy that must, however, be assessed in order to certify its effectiveness.
In this regard, one of the key aspects is to have reliable information that will make it possible to observe, for example, how pollution levels are evolving. And this is precisely the aim of the Kunak Green Move project that is going to be developed in Pamplona as part of the Smart Pamplona Lab initiative. It is an opportunity that, in addition, will enable us to demonstrate the excellent performance of the Kunak AIR Pro for this type of application (and many others we will be revealing to you).
Similarly, in order to check how traffic affects environmental conditions, we are going to work closely with Anteral, a company that is responsible for monitoring city traffic by means of various devices that count vehicles, classifying them into different types.
Kunak AIR Pro, an outdoor air quality sensors system that will make a difference
Needless to say, at Kunak we are extremely proud of our new air quality monitoring system. Ultimately, it is the culmination of all the knowledge we have acquired after seven years of installing air quality measurement systems around the world. And from a technological point of view, it represents a real milestone thanks to the introduction of such a novel feature as interchangeable cartridges.
It will undoubtedly be a key element in the development of the Kunak Green Move project, and we hope that it will also raise interest in such a relevant initiative as the one that constitutes the Smart Pamplona Lab. Why is that? Basically, because products in the market cannot match our features.
Its main signs of identity are:
- The capacity to simultaneously measure up to 5 polluting gases (CO, CO2, NO, NO2, O3, SO2, H2S, NH3 and VOCs) and suspended particles (PM1, PM5 and PM10) through a smart cartridge system that facilitates its installation and maintenance.
- The possibility to add external sensors as devices for measuring weather variables, noise or traffic (through a probe for counting vehicles and measuring their speed).
- Total energy autonomy, due to their being powered by a battery and solar energy.
- Easy installation in under 10 minutes.
- Real-time data, uploaded to the cloud platform for display, analysis and management.
Smart Pamplona Lab, turning the urban environment into a testing ground
Although so far we have focused much of the article on our new outdoor air quality sensors system, we cannot ignore the framework that will make the launching of the Kunak AIR Pro possible, and that is none other than the Smart Pamplona Lab. But what exactly does this initiative consist of?
To begin with, it is important to define what an urban laboratory is. Also known as city lab, urban lab or living lab to quote some common names, it basically consists of making public spaces available to generate ideas for urban projects through (1):
- the exploration of different approaches related to sustainability, public work, governance, etc.
- the development of measures through experimentation with ground-breaking applications.
In any case, its ultimate goal is ‘find multi-sectorial solutions‘ capable of providing a response to the challenges set by such a complex network as a city, with sustainability as one of the challenges that stand out in its own right. It should not be forgotten that even though cities only occupy 2% of the earth’s surface area, they are a very important part of the world’s economy, as they consume more than two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions.
The objective of the Smart Pamplona Lab initiative
Although Pamplona is a medium-sized city (with around 200,000 inhabitants), it is no stranger to the problems represented by air pollution and the presence of high-density traffic hot spots. Therefore, the City Council, aware of the need to make progress in the development of firm urban sustainability policies, has set up the Smart Pamplona Lab, an initiative that is part of the European STARDUST project.
The main goals of this urban laboratory are to:
- Contribute to business innovation.
- Drive public and private collaboration.
- Experiment with and implement new solutions and services related to smart cities.
- Reinforce the image of Pamplona as a smart city on a national and European level.
To this end, data provided by the Kunak stations will be used for:
- developing public awareness campaigns, with special attention to the educational community, and
- analysing the environmental conditions in the new cycle lanes being opened by the City Council and which are part of its policies to promote sustainable mobility.
Pamplona seeks to position itself as a benchmark smart city in Europe and aims to achieve this by highlighting the value of the opportunity that urban sustainability policies represent today.
At Kunak we are willing to pool all our knowledge and the best of our technology. And yes, we are aware of the importance of citizens enjoying environmental conditions that improve their quality of life. Perhaps because, after all, we also live in this city, the improvement of which we want to contribute through ongoing innovation. From time to time, we also like to have a home advantage.
- (1) Scholl, C., & Kemp, R. (2016). City labs as vehicles for innovation in urban planning processes. Urban Planning, 1(4), 89–102. https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v1i4.749