Air pollution mitigated and reduced with Context Broker

By Smart Cities Editorial
EIP-SCC news

Air pollution is a major problem for public health in urban environments. Many European cities are confronted with increasing air pollution and associated health problem. Barcelona, the second most populous city of Spain, is one of them.

Despite negative effects on human health, the economy, and the environment, traditional Air Quality Monitoring (AQM) stations in cities are limited to space due to high capital and operative expenditures. This allows cities to install a small number of them. This is also the case of the city of Barcelona, in which, only 12 monitoring AQM stations are installed. These monitoring stations provide very accurate data but only for specific points and these few points do not provide the real and complete picture of pollution behaviour.

This problem led the municipality of Barcelona and Catalan government to go on a quest to find an air pollution solution that would provide real time pollution data. This solution would enable the government to find and understand the pollution sources better to tackle the issue.

Context Broker

The municipality found a solution, which leverages the Connecting Europe Facility Context Broker. The Context Broker enables them to make smarter decisions to mitigate and reduce air pollution. The solution, developed by the service provider bettairĀ®, is a large-scale deployment of accurate gas sensor which uses a post-processing algorithm, This provides cities with a high quality and improved spatial air quality data resolution. The resolution enables the city authorities to make smarter decision in order to mitigate and reduce air pollution. Barcelona operates several devices today and is considering to extend the platform.


This platform leverages CEF Context Broker to offer a united platform using a micro-service architecture. The Context Broker allows the platform to handle large amounts of data coming from the large-scale deployment of air quality nodes.

CEF Context Broker facilitated the solution provider to evolve from a monolithic to a micro-service solution, enabling them to process much larger data volumes. This benefited the company to build a more user-friendly platform, considering that data volumes continue to grow at an accelerating speed. Additionally, the Context Broker enabled the platform to become interoperable, allowing a seamless connection to the cities platform.

With a large-scale deployment like this, Barcelona can identify unknown sources of pollution, and secondly, assess the impact of the environmental mitigation actions that cities are applying in order to identify the most cost effective ones.