dlr to support UCD ‘WeCount’ traffic impact project

Friday, September 4, 2020
dlr County
Intro Text 

WeCount aims to empower citizens to take a leading role in collecting data, evidence and knowledge of local mobility patterns

Citizens can host a sensor on their property to monitor local traffic data

To enhance local knowledge of traffic and travel patterns across the County, dlr residents are invited to engage in the WeCount project, by hosting a sensor at the front of their property. Placed at a window with a clear view of the street outside, the sensor will count cars, bikes, pedestrians and heavy vehicles, thereby helping to build a traffic profile of the local area. The sensor will also monitor local air pollution, to establish a direct link between traffic and local pollution and build a stronger argument towards sustainability.

If you or your local community would like to participate in the WeCount project, by hosting a sensor at your home, please contact Francesco Pilla (Associate Professor in Smart Cities & Urban Environment at UCD) to find out more: francesco.pilla@ucd.ie

It is intended to host online and/or face-to-face community workshops in September 2020, with the aim to deploy the sensors to residents from October 2020.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Director of Infrastructure & Climate Change, Robert Burns said:

I welcome the opportunity to raise awareness of the work that UCD are doing on this dynamic project in Dublin, as part a larger programme across other European cities, that aims to foster a ‘bottom up’ approach to gathering and analysing local traffic data. As the Council continues to develop and implement active travel schemes, in particular cycling and walking projects, the data obtained from WeCount project will enhance our local understanding of traffic and travel patterns and related impacts on air quality, climate action and quality of life across our County’.


Associate Professor in Smart Cities & Urban Environment at UCD, Francesco Pilla said: ‘WeCount aims to empower citizens to take a leading role in the production of data, evidence and knowledge around mobility in their own neighbourhoods, and at street level. The concept is simple: with a sensor in combination with a low-cost computer and software, anyone can count the traffic in his or her street. We will be working in close collaboration with all the local communities interested in being involved, to provide them with the tools for hearing their voices’.

Cities currently account for only 1% of the earth’s surface. However, they also account for half of the world’s population, 67% of the global primary energy demand, and 71% of the global energy-related CO2 emissions. Obtaining reliable and updated traffic data is fundamental to understanding the complex links between our urban infrastructure, transport systems and the livability in urban areas. Traffic counts help authorities and scientists make sense of urban mobility and are instrumental to assess its impacts and consequently improve planning.

The WeCount project will carry out five different pilot projects across a number of European cities, Dublin, Cardiff, Leuven, Madrid, Barcelona and Ljubljana. The aim is to quantify local road transport, produce scientific knowledge in the field of mobility and environmental pollution, and devise informed solutions to tackle various road transport challenges. The findings will create new, low-threshold opportunities for transport policy-making and research. More information on the WeCount project is available at https://www.we-count.net/


For all media queries please contact dlr Communications Office at commsoffice@dlrcoco.ie and 01 2047090