European citizens living in urban areas often breathe air that does not meet standards and respiratory diseases are becoming more the rule than the exception worldwide, with more than 600 million people affected. The impact of air pollution on the economy is tremendous, EUR 200 billion per year, with both direct impacts like hospitalisation, and indirect such as absenteeism and ultimate death. SOUL is an environmental platform that aggregates air quality data, creating risk analysis and analytics to be used by the government, insurance companies, organisations and end-users. It provides street level spatial resolution and time forecast based on Copernicus services, satellite imagery, like the recently launched Sentinel-5P, and sensors that, combined with machine learning and downscaling algorithms, helps people to avoid environmental health threats in cities.
Understanding the spatial and temporal patterns (where and when) of pollution in urban areas can help to improve public health and lower costs, avoiding unnecessary hospitalisations and readmissions.
«The jury recognises the contribution that the solution SOUL could make by offering a smartphone app through which citizens can download and monitor the pollution in their city. Thus, the project combines governmental tasks with a very user-friendly application. We congratulate the team of SpaceLayer Technologies from Portugal.»
Pedro Jorge Caridade