"Every day, air pollution and carbon emissions are produced by our commutes to work, by heating our homes, or through our daily lifestyles. Understanding how we live - and the restrictions we face in those choices – is key to improving air quality. Solutions at a local level can make a big difference" - ClairCity
855 participants volunteered their time to evaluate the engagement activities. 63% were male, given over half of the evaluators (534) came from the mobile game survey, a tool that traditionally has more male users. The game also appealed to a younger audience than other activities, meaning that overall, 25% of evaluators were aged 16-25 years old. However, given the wide ranging and often targeted activities developed, all age categories are represented in the project. For instance, the workshop activities (Delphi, policy, and stakeholder workshops) attracted 66% of 45-54 year olds and 83% of 55-64 year olds.
Overall, participants tended to enjoy the activities in which they took part; the younger the participants, the more likely they were to say that they enjoyed the activity. The activities also had an impact on behaviours, with 74% of participants said that they would now make a change to their lives to improve air quality.
The more participants enjoyed the activity, the more they reported that their understanding of air quality had improved. Similarly, the more participants reported that their understanding had improved, the more they reported that they would change their behaviour. Younger people and those with lower education to start with were more likely to say they would change their behaviour. All of these relationships were highly statistically significant.
To fully realise the goal of citizen-led air pollution reduction in cities, researchers and policymakers need to work hard to ensure engagement participation is reflective of city demographics. This evaluation shows the importance of designing engagement activities which appeal to a wide variety of audiences to ensure that a broad cross-section of society can participate in engagement with policymaking. The more enjoyable the engagement activities, the more people gain understanding about the issues, and the more likely people are to make a change to their behaviour to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, and improve the health of our cities. We hope this evaluation report proves useful to other policymakers working towards a future with clean air.
Sardo, M., Laggan, S., Boushel, C., & Fogg Rogers, L. (2020). Citizen-led air pollution reduction in cities (ClairCity) Final evaluation report. European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme