Air pollution is THE environmental topic that European citizens worry about most  . It is responsible for 430.000 premature deaths in Europe each year, and puts considerable damage to agriculture as well as our natural environment  . Despite these facts the readiness and power of European citizens to take actions themselves is limited.
The CAPTOR project is based on the assumption that the combination of citizen science, collaborative networks and environmental grassroots social activism helps to raise awareness and find solutions to the air pollution problem, having a high potential impact on fields such as education, social innovation, science, environment, politics and industry.
Civil society organisations are challenged 1) to transform attitudes of citizens to active behaviour, 2) to combine the knowledge of all the players involved in a collaborative process of finding innovative solutions and actions and 3) to have powerful and high-quality instruments for discussions with decision makers.
Currently in most developed countries air pollution is monitored by networks of stations equipped with high-level reference instrumentation. These monitoring stations have high costs, and as a result, current air quality monitoring networks have a relatively low spatial density, which cannot accurately reproduce the variability of air pollutant concentrations over large areas. These high costs and the recent advances in mobile sensors and software applications have raised an increased interest on offer citizen-based sensing networks that can complement the current air quality networks.
CAPTOR will use low-cost sensors for the data collection in three European Regions heavily affected by ozone pollution. The low-cost sensors will be maintained by the citizens themselves and developed with a special attention on the quality of data, because this is a crucial point of the citizens’ empowerment and mobilisation.
The three regions are situated in:
- Barcelonès-Vallès Oriental-Osona (Catalonia, Spain)
- Pianura Padana (Po Valley, Italy)
- Burgenland, Steiermark and Niederösterreich (Austria)
Key facts about CAPTOR:
- Start 01-01-2016, End 31-12-2018
- Partners: 8 from Spain, Italy, Austria and France
- Funding by the European Union’s Horizon2020 Programme: approx. EUR 2 million
- Grant Agreement No: 688110
 “Attitudes of European Citizens towards the Environment“, 2014, Special Eurobarometer 416 / Wave EB81.3
 http://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/air, European Environment Agency