European Environment Agency


Italy participates only to Phase 1 of this initiative.

In Italy, the project is carried out through the National System for Environmental Protection (SNPA), which includes, under the coordination of ISPRA all Regional Environmental Protection Agencies and the Autonomous Provinces of Trento and Bolzano. The Regional and Provincial Protection Agencies manage air quality monitoring networks providing official data, then included by ISPRA into the EIONET framework.

I. Information about the chosen schools

1. Where is/are the school(s) located (name of city, urban/sub-urban/rural)? 

Italy is still in the process of identifying schools and cities. Nevertheless, most of them will probably be located in the urban and sub-urban areas of the following 33 Italian cities: Ancona, Aosta, Avellino, Bari, Bergamo, Belluno, Bologna, Catania, Chieti, Città di Castello, Como, Firenze, Foligno, Frosinone, Genova, Gorizia, Imperia, La Spezia, Messina, Napoli, Padova, Palermo, Perugia, Pescara, Pordenone, Roma, Savona, Siracusa, Taranto, Terni, Torino, Trieste and Udine.

2. What kind of school(s) has/have been chosen (nursery, primary, secondary etc.)?

The chosen schools will mostly be secondary schools, but some cities might choose to involve also nursery and primary schools.

3. How far is/are the school(s) away from busy roads?

Detailed information will be provided at the end of the identification process of schools.

4. What kind of buildings surround the school(s) (e.g. is it located in a street canyon)?

Detailed information will be provided at the end of the identification process of schools.

5. Do you have information on the traffic volume and/or the kind of vehicles passing in front of the school and/or on the neighbouring streets? If yes, please provide this info.

Detailed information will be provided at the end of the identification process of schools.

6. Please provide an electronic ‘snap shot’ map of the

  • city or district where the school(s) is/are located, and of
  • school’s/schools’ close surroundings.

Detailed information will be provided at the end of the identification process of schools.

7. Other information, which you would like to share about the schools?

II. Information about the measurement approach

1. What kind of passive samplers do you plan to use, or which ones have you already used to measure NO2? How many?

They are planning to use the radiello samplers (passive NO2 sampler). As an alternative option they could use the Palm tubes. Sampling and determination will be made by the regional environmental protection agencies. They are working to ensure a standardised approach both for the sampling and the measurements activities. A provisional sampling protocol has been shared within the agencies.

The goal is to expose triplicate samplers at each school. The sampling time will be 15 days. We are evaluating the possibility to repeat the sampling campaign twice (i.e. two consecutive 15 days campaign during the same month).

2. Do you plan to use or have already used sensors to measure PM? If yes, which ones? How many?

Sensors for PM was not yet taken into account for this study.

3. Do you plan or have you already compared results of your measurement equipment with or calibrated against official measurement stations?

Since in each city involved in the project an air quality monitoring network does exist, managed by the regional agencies, Italy will carry contemporary sampling at one or more monitoring stations in each city, in order to compare the passive NO2 determination with the measurement carried out following the EU standard method for fixed measurements as provided by the 2008/50/EC Directive.

4. Where do you plan to locate or have already located the measurement devices? If possible, please indicate this on the map(s) mentioned under I.), or provide coordinates.

Detailed information on macroscale and microscale sampling protocol will be provided soon.

5. Please provide also info on the close surroundings of the measurement devices, e.g. in front of school (busy street, street canyon etc.), in the schoolyard, in the surroundings of the school(s).

Detailed information will be provided at the end of the identification process of schools.

6. Which sampling period(s), i.e. months have you chosen?

Italy plans to repeat the sampling campaign in a cold and a warm period. Since all the sampling points will be located at schools, it is mandatory to carry on the sampling during school time. Thus, the chosen month would likely be November-December for the cold period, and May for the warm one.

7. Do you also plan to count vehicles, vehicle types?

Some cities have automatic systems able to monitor the traffic counts within the road network. Italy will evaluate the data availability for the school nearest road and the school nearest major road (e.g. over 5000 vehicles a day). Italy could even involve the pupils with a periodic manual count for the nearest road.

III. Communication with pupils, teachers, parents

Foster engagement: Communicating about the project

1. Please indicate if you have any communication material already available and, if yes, what kind of material they are, e.g. from previous initiatives that can be useful for other participants. 

They have some material available from previous initiatives on air quality such as videos and information booklets even realized in cooperation with students in the frame of the school-work alternation projects[1] , but they are mostly available in Italian language.

[1] School-Work Alternating System (SWAS). The Italian Law 107/2015 introduced the SWAS in educational programs, requiring alternation between school and work during school time. This system was designed to improve students’ motivation to study through the logic of “learning by doing” and develop their basic knowledge and skills for a successful and critical transition from school-to-job

2. Do you plan to cooperate with local administration responsible for air quality, traffic, urban planning etc.? If yes, which ones.

Planning to cooperate with local municipalities and the technical offices in charge of air quality, traffic, urban planning, sustainable mobility and EU projects even on the basis of a Memorandum of Understanding between ISPRA and ANCI (The National Association of Italian Municipalities). They are also planning to cooperate with the national network of mobility managers.

3. Are there any civil society initiatives or communities that are active in that domain in your countries? Which ones? They might have some useful communication material and contacts. 

There are some non-governmental organisations very active in air quality especially with young citizens such as “Legambiente” the environmental association mostly widespread in Italy, or “Cittadini per l’Aria” which has a national and a European network. They work to let citizens contribute to improve air quality at local, national and European level. They work to share data and information, and promote good practices, to suggest strategies and effective solutions. Another Association which could be very useful for the purpose of the project is “FIAB” (Federazione Italiana Amici della bicicletta – Italian Association of Friends of Bicycle), it is a non-profit organisation of environmental protection for cycling mobility. FIAB is a member of ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation). Through their “School Project” they carry out educational and learning activities in the schools, the main objective of the project is the promotion of bicycle as well as the other sustainable means of transport in the “school run” and during spare time.

Citizen science and behaviour change: capturing long-term impacts

4. How do you plan to ‘measure’ change in behaviour, see for example the before-after questionnaire used by ‘Curious Noses’? 

Italy plans to measure behavioral change through the use of the traditional before and after questionnaire, but also through the use of innovative and participative tools like video story telling ( all the students participating to the project together with their families are invited to make a film/video about their behavioral change ) and like Smartphone applications able to measure the well-being coming from sustainable behavior.

5. Some concrete questions have been suggested in relation to the citizen science approach:

  • Can citizen science be used as a means of changing mobility behaviours in and around schools that influence air quality?
  • What ways of citizen science can be employed to changing such behaviour?
  • How effective are these ways of citizen science in changing mobility behaviour influencing air quality?

What kind of question(s) have you formulated?

Beyond general questions concerning citizen science approach, we are formulating some more specific questions targeted at mobility habits, before and after the information campaign.