A small open-source device with low-cost sensors helps citizens to establish the actual conditions of their living environment. By measuring and sharing levels of air pollution, noise and light pollution, temperature and humidity, participants of Smart Citizen generate data that can help them to improve the quality of their environment.

Smart Citizen is a crowdfunded, crowdsourced and open-source distributed sensor network aimed at stimulating the participation of citizens in the improvement of their city. The project was formed by Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, which focuses on the impact of new technologies to human habitat. Smart Citizen was successfully funded through Kickstarter in June 2013.

For the project low-cost sensors were developed that can measure carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, noise, light, and humidity levels at a given place. Participants in the Smart Citizen project, that is currently tested in Barcelona, can upload the measured data to their iPhones and from there to the Smart Citizen website.

The website may need some study for a first visitor to understand all data displayed, but it looks great. The idea is that by connecting data, people and knowledge in a project like this one, people can actually contribute to the development and improvement of their cities.

The bigger objective of the makers is to investigate how to build a real Smart City. Considering that the project was awarded the Initiative Award of World Smart Cities Awards in September 2013, they are on the right track.

Take a look at this nice movie about the Smart Citizen project.

In the Netherlands a similar project, funded by the Lung Foundation, demonstrates how smartphone users can help raise awareness about the health aspect of the air quality that we breathe in every day.