The recent workshop titled “Exploring Air and Mobility in the Turano Valley and Gerace”, organized by the GREENGAGE partner I Borghi più belli d’Italia, was more than just an educational event – it was a call to action. The sessions and discussions highlighted the urgent need for both individual and collective efforts to improve our environment, emphasising the essential role of community participation in addressing environmental and mobility issues, thus promoting regional development and attracting tourism.

The workshop saw an active participation of 24 citizens in attendance, supported by the GREENGAGE experts from MindEarth, GISAT, UWE and AIT, along the representatives of local institutions – the Mayor of Collalto Sabino, the president of the association “The most beautiful villages in Italy” and a representative from a local environmental agency.

Empowering Communities Through Knowledge

One of the most compelling aspects of the workshop was its focus on empowering local communities with knowledge and tools. The first point discussed during the workshop was how everyday activities impact air quality. Simple actions, such as using a fireplace, cleaning products, or paints, can significantly contribute to air pollution. This realization brought a new perspective on how personal habits intertwine with broader environmental issues.

The Citizen Observatory and Citizen Science approaches highlighted during the workshop provided a promising framework for how local communities can get informed on the implications of their actions and how they can contribute to a lasting change. Specifically, by involving citizens directly in the monitoring and evaluation of air quality, they can be empowered to make informed decisions and advocate for policies that promote sustainability. Through this, the event also emphasized the power of grassroots initiatives.

Bridging Technology and Everyday Life

The presentations showcased a seamless blend of cutting-edge technology and practical application. For instance, the use of satellite data to monitor and understand air quality brought a new dimension to the workshop, while the hands-on demonstrations of AtmoTube Pro air quality sensors showcased how technology can aid in personal and community efforts to monitor air quality.

These hands-on experiences provided attendees with the tools and knowledge to take action in their own homes and neighborhoods. Visualizing air quality data helped bridge the gap between abstract concepts and tangible actions, reinforcing the connection between personal choices and environmental outcomes.

Utilizing Data to Promote Regional Development

Another key aspect from the workshop was the importance of using mobility data to enhance and promote the Turano Valley. Detailed information on the flow of people and mobility patterns can significantly support the planning of events and commercial activities. The insights gained from mobility data can also inform strategic decisions regarding infrastructure. For instance, understanding the flow of people can help in designing optimal parking plans, highlighting critical elements about road quality, and managing traffic speed in certain sections.

Inspiring Broader Change

The model presented in the Turano Valley and Gerace has laid a strong foundation for leveraging a collaborative spirit and the power of data. This event is expected to inspire other municipalities not only across Italy but also throughout Europe to adopt similar strategies.

By prioritizing community involvement and utilizing data for strategic planning, local regions can address specific challenges and leverage their unique strengths.