Since August 2021, 8 bettair® static nodes have been monitoring the air quality and ambient noise in the streets of the Italian city of Pordenone. Together with a wide range of pollutants measured by the nodes, including NO2, NO, CO, CO2, O3, SO2, H2S, and Particulate Matter, in addition to the ambient noise, the project includes the monitoring of rainfall in real-time using a novel technology developed by Artys SRL, as well as the development of particulate dispersion forecast models by PM Ten SRL.
The municipality of Pordenone, with 51,000 inhabitants, is the main commune of the Pordenone province situated in the northeastern region of Friuli Venezia Giulia. It is located in the flatlands between the Carnic Alps and the wide valley, bounded by the Tagliamento and Livenza rivers that combine into an unbroken plain with the Po River Basin. The topographical characteristics of the Po Valley strongly influence the local meteorology, leading to the typical climate of the region characterised by low winds, particularly in the winter months, with average speeds that are among the lowest in comparison to the rest of the European continent. In Pordenone, like the rest of the Po Valley, the dispersion of pollutants is severely hampered by the frequent thermal inversion conditions near the ground, with the primary pollutants tending to progressively accumulate reaching high concentrations, and therefore, favouring the formation of further secondary pollution. If we consider that this area is densely populated and heavily industrialised with a variety of pollution sources related to traffic, domestic heating, industry and energy production, and agriculture and farming activities, it is no surprise that the Po Valley, including Pordenone, is considered one of the worst areas in Europe for air quality.
The deployment of a dense grid of air quality sensors is part of a wider strategy defined by the municipality to achieve a better quality of life making the city welcoming, safe and economically competitive, whilst also creating a more sustainable future for its inhabitants. The challenge that the municipality intends to face aims to ensure a sustainable future for new generations, making them participate in the actions implemented with specific reference to this project. This is to be done by encouraging cycle mobility through the optimisation of existing routes and the creation of new routes in areas of greatest environmental value.
At bettair® we like to say that “you cannot solve a problem if you don’t know about it”, and this is the main value that the dense grid of bettair® sensors is adding to this initiative: measuring the efficacy of the initiatives intended to mitigate air pollution. The municipality and ARPA FVG, the regional agency for environment, can rely, for the first time, on high resolution air quality data to evaluate the impact of the mitigation actions on the air that the citizens breathe.
In addition to the scientific value of a dense network of measurement points, air quality sensors can lead citizens to a greater awareness of the effects of their decisions on the territory and the environment. For this purpose, the data collected is shared with the citizens via an LCD display installed at street level.
We are proud to supply PM_TEN and Artys with our technology used in this project carried out by the Municipality of Pordenone and developed in the framework of ERDF. The innovative and smart actions are implemented aiming at the improvement of the quality of the urban environment.