1.1 Citizens' concerns
Start conversations with citizens through a POP UP INTERVENTION
from 1 hour to a whole day
When starting a new citizen science project, one of the most difficult parts is to approach citizens and make them aware of your project.
Pop up intervention
Pop up interventions are temporary spaces within the cities’ infrastructure that combine playful materials and audiovisuals to stimulate reflection, action, and interactions among the general public. Pop up interventions are the perfect tool to approach everyday people and let them get to know your project and to start conversations about their interests and concerns.
A pop up intervention could be organized around a variety of different activities, such as play games on the street and using artistic installations. Our favorite one is the strawberry campaign, aimed to create the first air pollution map in Barcelona measured with strawberry plants as biosensors. Read the story below!
The Strawberry Campaign
Promoters:Fundación Ibercivis, Ideas for Change, ISGlobal
The campaign aimed to distribute 1,000 strawberry plants that will be used to measure air pollution. Citizens living in different neighborhoods of Barcelona will host a strawberry plant on their balcony during 3 months, then they will send a leave of the plant to have it analysed in a lab. With the results we will build a collaborative air pollution map of the city. The analysis is done thanks to the collaboration with another national citizen science project, Vigilantes del Aire.
To raise public and media attention about the project with a massive and entertaining activity.
To gather qualitative insights on people health concerns towards air pollution.
To promote the online survey we launched.
To strengthen the collaboration with local groups who helped us in developing the intervention.
Look for a relevant local event
We searched for an event that was already taking place in Barcelona during the time we were planning the intervention. In this case it was The Parking Day. The Parking Day is an international event in which organizations, communities and citizens take over the parking slots and give them a different use. The goal is to show the amount of public space taken by cars. This event was aligned with the overall narrative of the CitieS-Health project as it aims to promote sustainable urban living.
Prepare beautiful materials to catch the attention of people
Prepare a bag with the strawberry plant, instruction on how to take care of it and how to send the leave for having it analysed. Don't forget to have to get people’s contact details! You want to invite them in future activities and have conversations with them beyond this intervention
Collaborate with local organizations to maximize your outreach
We aimed to distribute the strawberry plants in all the ten city districts. We contacted the civic organizations that would have a slot in this event and used their stand to distribute the strawberry plants.
Don’t forget your primary goal: identifying citizen’s concerns!
Besides distributing the plants, our aim with this intervention was to gather information about citizens’ concerns on environmental issues and health, and at the same time, promote the pilot project. For this reason, we used a canvas that showed possible health issues and environmental issues and we asked participants to vote which was the most concerning issue for them. This triggered interesting conversations that allowed us to gather further qualitative insights.
And after the intervention?
We kept in contact with the strawberry hosts through newsletters and social media. This allowed us to invite them to the next activities that we organized within the project. Also, we published a map with the results of the leaves analysis just before launching the data collection campaign of our pilot, thus allowing us to increase awareness.
Get the toolbox!
We share with you some of the tools that can be useful to carry out this activity.
Canvas for driving conversations with citizens - to edit
Canvas for driving conversations with citizens - ready to print