Report: Citizen science for sustainability

Around the world actors from across sectors and stakeholder groups, together with citizens themselves, are working on changing our ways of living in order to move towards a more sustainable future. Within this, the topic of how to enable people to live more sustainable lifestyles is gaining increasing attention. It is with this focus that we approach the topic of citizen science in this report, exploring how this method can be used towards achieving more positive and sustainable lifestyles of citizens across Europe.

This report is designed to provide an overview of the current context of citizen science for sustainability, the emerging innovations in the field, and what we can learn from the most inspirational examples as we design new citizen science initiatives in the context of sustainable lifestyles. We derive our main findings from desk-based research, development of 30 inspirational case studies of citizen science projects, and interviews with 27 stakeholders who have been involved in citizen science initiatives.

From the analysis of the interviews we conducted, in this report we share our findings under 4 key elements of citizen science projects: setting up and reaching out to participants; gathering data from and with citizens; keeping people engaged; and implementing meaningful change. Following this analysis, we share 30 inspirational case studies of citizen science initiatives. For each, we have provided information on the project’s location, scale of implementation, level of citizen engagement and topic area, as well as further detail on: who is involved and how they got involved; how citizens are involved in the collection and use of data; how the initiative is organised; and why we see it as particularly inspirational. Finally, we reflect on the key findings of the research, and set out the ways in which we will use these lessons to build upon the work of inspiring examples as we shape the approach of the PSLifestyle project’s citizen science living labs in the subsequent phases of the project.

Publication Date: 11 May 2022

European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101037342.