Urban Pixels Project, Wrocław, Poland
Magdalena Filcek

The Urban Pixels Project is new idea created by designer/artist/inventor/scientist/pilot of hot air balloons - Magdalena Filcek - the concept of a breakthrough architectural design and the balloon-oriented technology which indicates the real-time atmospheric air pollution in urban areas. Using an innovative system of ground sensors and wireless data-transmission, the balloon displays different colours: red, yellow and green corresponding to the quality of the air.  The balloon acts as a pollution/trafic tool to inform that should change certain municipal policies and influence the natural routine habits of residents, based on gamification not only with the citizens of the city but also between the cities all around the world playing „in green” with consequence of reduction the number of cars and the improvement air and life quality. Demonstrating how the alliance between cities can shape the future delivering healthier, greener urban development.
 
This idea has been supporting by research and published in Springer book 2017 “Happy City – How to Plan and Create the Best Livable Areas for the People”.https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-49899-7_4
 
The project has both leisure and practical uses as unique viewing tower, which does not interrupt a city’s panorama and functions in a building for public use, brings together scientific knowledge for determining pollutant levels with the dissemination of the information to policy makers, the public and regulatory aspects, in order to formulate a city’s reaction to air pollution problems. Reliable monitoring of ambient concentrations, as well as keeping the authorities and public informed of short term changes in air quality are basic items for air quality management strategies. The upper half will display current issues pertinent to air pollution. 
 
The lower half will show the traffic (red colour) - consist of thousands of LED pixels that will change colour depending on decisions made by citizens of the city: green LED lights up when citizens decide to travel by foot or bicycle, yellow and orange light up when travel by public transport. Each resident who decides to not travel via their private vehicle may use an application, that is coupled with the lower half of the balloon to obtain a free e-ticket for a public transportation. Through the application, when hundreds or thousands of people do not use their car, one can see the progress in the size of the green and yellow area on the balloon, which will give citizens a sense of the real impact of their individual decisions on protection of the air they breathe in the city. 
 
Consequently, the strength of the green parts of the balloon (through lack of the large number of cars on the streets in the city) will change the colour of the upper part of the balloon from red to green because the quality of the air will change for the better. The above-described idea works by giving feedback that is used as a tool to encourage the recipient to analyse their activities and to make possible improvements of behaviour.  With multiple repetitions of this situation, the behaviour becomes habit - for us and better world.
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