Citizen science for a green and more liveable city

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Citizen science for a green and more liveable city 

Urban green spaces play an important role in the quality of life in cities. Parks, lanes, gardens, green belts provide various benefits to our well-being. This includes cooling the direct environment, preventing erosion, promoting rainwater infiltration, aesthetics, and opportunities for recreation. With increased urbanization worldwide, the challenges for urban planning and keeping the city liveable are increasing. Climate change threatens to exacerbate this, for example with expected increases in temperature.  

The benefits of green spaces are not the same everywhere. So far, research has mainly been done in temperate regions such as in Europe and the US. What are the advantages of urban green spaces the tropics where vegetation and lifestyle are clearly different? And how can information and understanding help to motivate people to promote and protect greenery in the city? Tropenbos Suriname and the University of Twente have been working together since 2018 in a twinning context; we learn from each other.

In Paramaribo, the capital of tropical Suriname, we aim better understand this role and are testing the use of small weather sensors to measure the cooling effect of vegetation. Beside this, we developed free teaching materials, are freely sharing all our data for use by others, and are organizing activities for residents (for more information click here).

Citizens play a big role in this.

Dozens of people, schools and societal organizations monitor the functions and use of green spaces on a monthly basis in order to gain knowledge of the changes and to share this knowledge with others in order to take smarter action. 

Support this citizen science and donate! Every (one-time) donation helps us further!

  • Maintaining the interactive knowledge portal for continued free access and monthly updates of the measurements costs us 20 euros per week (explore the portal here)
  • Facilitating citizen-based measurements using weather sensors and a phone app during 6 months costs us €50 per citizen researcher.
  • We can maintain our educational material for primary schools and universities can continue to share it for free with teachers for 75 euros per month. In this way we can continue to support and train them using new data and knowledge. (Explore the materials here ).

Our goal is to collect data together with citizens for at least another year and to maintain our knowledge portal and educational material and monitor impact for at least another 3 years. Most activities take place in Paramaribo. Are you on the campus of the University of Twente? Temperature sensors are also located there (just take a look at the NLD map in the knowledge portal). We use this data for education and method testing and we work together with Green Hub Twente.

Do you live in Suriname and would you rather support this project with a donation through Tropenbos Suriname? Or do you want to contribute by means of a service or materials? Mail to for information on how to arrange this.

Do you want to know more?

  • Read this article about our citizen science and innovation in IP magazine. (In Dutch)
  • Listen to citizen researchers and Davita Obergh of Tropenbos Suriname how monitoring works (In Dutch)
  • Or watch this short animation about greenery in the city and why this research is important (Switch on the English subtitles)

Thank you in advance!

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€20 23-09-2022 | 14:08 Ha Prof Willemen! Gefeliciteerd namens de hele crew uit je zusterstad!