By ESS team

Last Wednesday, 15 November 2023, researchers from the Earth System Services (ESS) group at the Earth Sciences Department of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) held, with resounding success, the second workshop of the uncertAIR project, entitled "Testing the prototype of the uncertAIR tool". The uncertAIR project, led by BSC researcher Cristina Carnerero, seeks to report on the uncertainty in air quality simulations and, based on this, develop a platform for visualising and downloading air quality data in Barcelona. uncertAIR was selected by Barcelona City Council as a young and emerging research project Recerca Jove 2022 for the study of urban air quality. 

The aim of this second edition of the workshop (the first one took place in April this year) was to test together with the users the prototype of the uncertAIR platform on which the researchers of the ESS group have been working during these months, based on the information gathered thanks to the first workshop and the interviews carried out with the users. While the first workshop aimed to understand what needs different users might have when consulting air quality data, in this second workshop, the participants were able to test the tool, check that all their needs had been met, that the interface was intuitive and easy to use, and that all the functionalities responded correctly.

The event was attended by the users contacted during the development of the project, representing 4 main areas: public administration, research personnel, private enterprise and NGOs/citizens. Thus, on the public administration side, organisations such as the Barcelona City Council (Urban Planning, Ecological Transition, Urban Services and Housing) and the Metropolitan Transport Authority (Autoritat del Transport Metropolità, ATM) participated in the workshop. In the academic sphere, the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals, ICTA-UAB), the Barcelona Public Health Agency (Agència de Salut Pública, ASPB), the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) were present. On the part of environmental activist platforms, the attendees were Ecologists in Action of Catalonia members. Although both private companies (specifically the company 300.000 km) and the Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya) and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona, AMB) were also invited, for personal reasons they were finally unable to attend.

With the feedback gathered after the workshop, the platform is expected to be functional, intuitive and attractive, making key information about air pollution accessible to society. The platform will be available to the public in the summer of 2024.