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Indonesian justice finds government negligent in terms of air quality measures

President Joko Widodo and members of his government were found guilty of negligence for not doing enough to counter air pollution in and around Jakarta.


Our air quality and health approach

Air pollution in Europe is the primary cause of premature death. In the region of Eindhoven (Netherlands) we initiated AiREAS, a cooperative approach involving all local stakeholders.

Since 2011, when AiREAS was founded, we invite all societal stakeholders to take responsibility together for the air we breath.

To date we have 23 municipalities signed up “to make visible the invisible” through a shared measurement network. This installation is serving various purposes: 1. for scientific research about pollution in three sectors: city environment, airport and intensive cattle holding. 2. To benchmark local for local, low cost measurement initiatives of citizens (often also coordinated through the AiREAS community). 3. To help measure progress when changes are introduced in society by the partners or as a group in 4 x WIN cocreation projects.

During 2022 we expect to initiate new 4 x WIN initiatives by building multidisciplinary local or regional communities around certain priorities. Here are a few examples:

Mobility transition

This transition is much more than converting petrol cars into electric versions. We start with the question “why mobility in the first place”? And if mobility is needed, what clean and comfortable alternative can I use? So, as far as this 4 x WIN is concerned, working from home is part of the mobility plan. How can people to their work effectively? When do they need to commute and how would they do this with least impact on their environment. If people work more from home they could save time for leisure, familiy time and maybe do more outdoors in terms of recreation, sport or excersize. All this will show newly emerging mobility patterns requiring different services, infrastructures, products, facilities, etc. In order to do this effectively all stakeholders need to be involved in the processes together and at the same time.

Greening neighborhoods

Greening neighborhoods is more than getting volunteers to do some neighborhood gardening. It represents the conversion of large cemented or brick stone areas into living green for recreation, food, water management, etc. Engagement with citizens involves the transformation and care taking of their street, trees, gardens, parks, etc.. They involve their children, teach them about the edible part of nature around them, how it helps to cure certain issues, the importance of plants for our air quality, etc. Above all it develops the respect for our natural environment and the joy for living nature in all seasons.

How to engage young people with communities such as AiREAS (air quality and health)?

The first questions to the Fontys “communication” students were “how does a community arise?” and “how do you keep a community alive?”. These questions were a warm-up for the essential question why we as AiREAS and study group had come together, namely “how can AiREAS involve young people in the challenge of health and air quality”. Five groups of three people, aged around 23, mixed male and female, sometimes only ladies due to the large amount of female presence in the group, set to work on the challenge. The initiative for this challenge had come from the students themselves, especially Hannah van den Hurk, who had participated in the recent AiREAS executive conference as youthful challenger of the management committee. After the introduction of Jean-Paul Close, people had about 90 minutes to come up with concrete proposals.

In those 90 minutes, the young people had to master the challenge of AiREAS because it was unknown territory for them? Then they should discuss together whether they could come up with a project for connection and communication? And finally prepare and deliver a presentation. Both the teacher and Jean-Paul Close did their rounds to assist the students with their questions or background information. They set to work with enthusiasm in an extremely relaxed and creative way. And the result may be there. Five applicable and executable project propositions were presented in a professional manner. It is unimaginable how free, open and creative these young people can be if they are given the space and incentives.
Naturally, these creative young people were challenged to implement their 4 x WIN ideas with the help of the AiREAS community. Without exception, they accepted the challenge.

Hats off to these beautiful, involved people. They give us hope and trust in the future!