Odour pollution has been consistently ignored by Governments when considering their environmental policies. This is despite it being the second most common subject of public complaints across Europe. Odour pollution is not just an unpleasant nuisance but also associated with headaches, stress and respiratory problems. Perhaps more worryingly odour is an indicator of larger environmental problems such as poor sanitation and excessive levels of chemical pollution.
The lack of regulation from authorities around odour pollution is largely due to it being difficult to reliably measure and the potential solutions being costly to implement. In addition, industrial stakeholders rely on the issue of poor data and inadequate monitoring techniques to oppose any new initiatives to tackle the problems. Some efforts have been made to regulate odours throughout Europe, however in the absence of standardised levels, definitions and criteria, efforts are severely hampered.
Mapping for Change is working with partners across Europe and beyond on the Decentralised Network for Odour Sensing, Empowerment and Sustainability (D-NOSES) project. D-NOSES will change the way in which odour pollution is currently addressed at all levels of government. The project will share expert scientific knowledge in odour detection and measurement with the public to build an evidence base. The results will inform future plans to reduce odour pollution, develop a standardised set of regulations and influence policy at a local, national and European level.
Mapping for Change will bring its expertise in community engagement, citizen science and participatory mapping to the consortium. Together we will put odour pollution on the map and ultimately on the global agenda. D-NOSES will empower the communities blighted by odour pollution to drive change by supporting them to gather evidence of the problem. Once the problems have been identified, we will work with them and other stakeholders to design potential solutions.
This is a three-year, three million Euro, project funded by Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. Grant agreement number 789315. The consortium is coordinated by Ibercivis and comprises: Ideas for Change, ECSA, ISWA, AMIGO, MIO-ESCDE, Polimi, University of Kassel, APEA, Envirometrics, Ecotec, Municipality of San Joao da Madeira, Municipality of Sophia, LIPOR.
Is your neighbourhood affected by odour pollution? If you are in the UK and would like to find out more about getting involved, please contact us with a brief description including the location and the scale of the problem.
Science in the City is a project that is being carried out with residents in the Barbican and Mansell Street, in the City of London. Residents are using low-tech tools to measure Nitrogen Dioxide and particulates.
Mapping for Change produced a Climate and Community Action Map, to inform people about initiatives happening in their local area. As there are thousands of organisations and projects that could be displayed, there is no one organisation that has a comprehensive list so any mapping will need to rely on local people’s knowledge and readiness to add their work to the map.