The Horizon 2020 project WeCount aims to empower citizens to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence and knowledge around mobility in their own neighbourhoods, and at street level. The project will follow participatory citizen science methods to co-create and use innovative low cost, automated, road traffic counting sensors and multi-stakeholder engagement mechanisms in 5 pilots in Madrid, Ljubljana, Dublin, Cardiff and Leuven.
Live traffic counting by citizen
Following this approach, the project will be able to quantify local road transport (cars, large vehicles, active travel modes and speed), produce scientific knowledge in the field of mobility and environmental pollution, and co-design informed solutions to tackle a variety of road transport challenges. Moreover, the project will provide cost-effective data for local authorities, at a far greater temporal and spatial scale than what would be possible in classic traffic counting campaigns, thereby opening up new opportunities for transportation policy making and research.
Putting citizens at the heart of the innovation process
WeCount empowers citizens to develop evidence-led interventions into the political discourse on civic and environmental issues. By putting citizens at the heart of the innovation process, the project seeks to overcome existing technological and societal silos so that citizens can champion a new perspective on road transport that take into account their own concerns in pursuit of better quality of life and more equitable, healthy futures.
WeCount aims to change the way transport scientists and policy researchers collect traffic counting and traffic impact data with the integration of citizens into transport monitoring and translate these into practical policy messages.
WeCount goes beyond the state-of-the-art
The project aims at achieving a true breakthrough by making citizen-collected traffic data and subsequent impact data, of different types (speed, traffic volume, modal split, air quality), relevant and “unignorable” for local policy-makers. WeCount aims to drastically reduce the cost of collecting traffic counting data (factor 3 to 5), by involving citizens in the data collection process, leading to traffic counting data for road segments where currently this data is typically unavailable. Furthermore, the project aims to provide evidence at unprecedented level of spatial detail of the link between traffic and air pollution.
Building on citizen science guidelines and knowledge, WeCount’s ambition is to build a durable and scalable citizen science “ecosystem” that will lead organically to new activities beyond the 5 use cases in the project, using the approach, technology and platform of WeCount. And finally, WeCount wants to create talented citizen scientists, nurture local champions and empower citizen activism.