Urban Air Quality Challenge

Site Visit in Eindhoven at the University of Technology

The project addresses the complex problem of urban air quality taking into account the societal, economic, technological and anthropological context. The participants will be driven through the processes of understanding and proposing solutions to the complex problem of air pollution for specific case-studies. Emphasis is given on the development of both technical skills (e.g. state-of-the-art measurement techniques, data analysis, design thinking and shift skills (e.g. communication, influence, inspiration, persuasion).

Participants work in teams of four and go through two iterative processes. The first one focuses on framing the problem, exploring solution space and arriving at a first solution proposal, based on input such as reading materials, online courses and feedback from experts. Within this first iteration process participants make several smaller iterations.

During the first on-site visit, in Eindhoven, the teams make a start with gathering and interpreting real data, talking to experts from the university and the city council, identifying and framing the problem or approach they want to address and making a plan for exploring the solution space and arriving at a first solution proposal as well as for their individual development. In the two months following the on-site visit they collaborate online to work on their solution proposal. The teams present their solution proposal in Toronto, during the second on-site visit.

During the second on-site visit, in Toronto, teams get feedback on their solution proposal and on their individual development. They test their solution against the air pollution problem in Toronto and gather new data and information. The teams assess whether their proposed solution is viable and feasible, and make a plan for detailing and implementing it. In the period following the on-site visit in Toronto participants collaborate online, making several smaller iterations to work towards their final deliverable: the implementation of the proposed solution in a specific context. They present this during the third on-site visit, in Eindhoven, where they are also assessed by a jury panel consisting of experts.