Increasing concerns about the Paris air quality led city officials in the historic French capital to pursue a major endeavor: to transform Paris’s heavily polluted Place de la Nation square and reclaim the good Paris air quality in and around the historic landmark. By combining Cisco’s sensor network with BreezoMeter’s environmental intelligence, Paris’ revolutionary campaign gave a whole new meaning to the term ‘smart city’.
Making the Paris air Quality Problem Visible
For 4 years in a row, air and noise pollution topped public concerns among Parisians, which drove city officials to find a way to not only to reduce traffic congestion and reclaim the city’s emblematic square, but to make air quality information accessible and actionable for the city’s residents, pedestrians and motorists alike.
Mapping Pollution With Sensor Networks
Paris’ city officials turned to Cisco to install a network of noise, traffic, and air quality sensors in order to collect environmental data throughout la Place de la Nation, the busiest traffic square in Paris.
For maximum efficiency, the team behind this smart city campaign understood they needed to find the best locations to place sensors and to have the ability to forecast the Paris air quality changes in order to empower Parisians to protect their health.
“To breathe Paris is to preserve the soul” – Victor Hugo
Giving Parisians the Gift of Environmental Intelligence
By partnering with BreezoMeter and consulting environmental scientists, Cisco’s sensors were able to bridge spatial gaps and locate the best sensor placement spots. BreezoMeter enhanced the campaign’s air pollution reporting with live air quality monitoring, combining environmental forecasts with captured sensor data and making coverage more granular.
As part of this campaign, touch screens were also installed around bus stations, with updated visualizations of live pollution data based on AI-driven air quality analysis – empowering pedestrians and bus riders with actionable health-focused recommendations according to changing environmental conditions in and around the square.
With data also accessible to everyone via BreezoMeter’s air quality map and free app (iOS, Android), Parisians were able to check their local air quality regularly, just like they would the weather, and involve environmental insights and forecasts in their daily decision-making.
Historical Environmental Data Informs Urban Planning & Policies
This smart city campaign enabled Paris’ city council to launch a shared diagnosis process that was open to public participation, enabling both citizens and government officials to see historical air quality trends in the square.
In turn, the historical environmental data made available through the campaign played a key role in drafting new renovation plans for 7 emblematic Parisian squares that would improve square traffic while protecting the city’s historic sites and landmarks. (Learn more about BreezoMeter’s History Plus product here)
The Results: Environmental Intelligence Transforms Daily Life for Parisians
Informed by the traffic and pollution data collected by the Place de la Nation campaign, the City of Paris approved a new budget plan to remodel more of the city’s emblematic squares, prioritizing traffic infrastructure changes, revamping public transportation, and establishing easily accessible vehicle-restricted green zones and travel routes.
The smart city campaign proves the crucial role of accurate environmental data in informing both healthier daily actions and decisions and long-term infrastructure planning to make cities more air quality aware and climate-resilient.
With air pollution now affecting 99% of the world, and climate change making environmental hazards more unpredictable, governments must answer growing public demands and adopt environmental intelligence to make cities healthier and smarter.