Helping improve air quality for thousands of athletes training in urban areas

Challenge & Context

Is it healthy going for a run in the city? Currently, a vast majority of the world’s large metropolitan areas face air pollution problems, and large European cities are not an exception: most of them experience or witness levels of local pollutant concentration higher than recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union (EU) itself.

  • What is the difference between jogging in an urban setting and jogging in a green area?
  • Do I have to take any precautions?


bettair® is an IoT platform that maps air and noise pollution in cities in real-time in a unprecedented scale, thanks to a large deployment of extremely accurate gas and other environmental sensors. The platform includes the hardware (gas sensor network), the software (back/front end) for cities and an app for residents.

  1. the results obtained from air quality measurements activities in each city, provided together with a technical interpretation of the results.

How it works

The selection of different measurement points in each city illustrates the differences between the quality of the air that athletes and runners breathe in different zones of the city (large road arteries, green areas and promenades). The points selected are located in various areas, but they have a common objective: demonstrate the quantity/influx of runners.

Figure — 1 Monitoring Map
Figure 2 — bettair devices
Figure 3- Architecture

Benefits & Impact

Let’s go back to our initial question: Is exercising in city air good for your health? The answer is crystal clear: it is always appropriate doing exercise, but the challenge is to understand better, easier and in real-time where air quality is appropriate or poor. As poor air quality has negative consequences for people’s health and quality of life we should not forget that practicing outdoor physical activity is however considered positive to stay healthy and fit. Therefore, runners, as a dominant outdoor sports practising group, do good to understand when and where to expose themselves to as little pollutants as possible. Depending on the location and time of the day, the pollution exposure can be reduced by six to ten times.

Added Value through FIWARE

Previous solutions were developed using a monolithic architecture with running services deployed as a united solution. Such applications may be developed if they remain limited in size and not having any requirement of scalability. Additionally, monolithic applications are difficult to govern and to modify. Today’s common request, even pre-requisite, of scalability can only be achieved by running multiple instances based on a network load balancer. As meeting scalability requirements was one of the main priorities for bettair, ,a new approach was required. With the support of FIWARE, they designed the new platform using a micro-service architecture. This architecture uses FIWARE out-of-the-box components such as the FIWARE Generic Enablers to allow each service to be independent from the others and therefore also be deployed independently.

Next steps

Following the citizens’ needs for real-time information on air quality at more filigran level (as suggested by the study) bettair has been developing a mobile App to calculate individual exposure to air pollutants as well as to indicate less polluted routes for walking, running or biking.


Estudio Practica Deportiva y Calidad Del Aire en Ámbitos Urbanos.

Authors & Contributors

Sebastiano Meneghello — VP Business Development smeneghello@bettaircities.combettair


In accordance with our guidelines on the use of quotes and impact stories in advertising, please note the following points: Impact stories appearing on the FIWARE Foundation website or other digital or printed materials and channels were submitted via text, audio or video. They are individual experiences that reflect real life and business experiences of those who have used our technology and/or services in different ways. The information contained in this impact story is not medical, diagnostic or therapeutic advice and does not constitute advice, treatment or application recommendations or guidance for the individual case. FIWARE Foundation does not assume any responsibility for up-to-datedness, correctness and completeness of the information provided. Liability claims against the author, which refer to material or non-material damages, which were caused by the use or non-use of the provided information or by the use of incorrect and incomplete information, are generally excluded, unless there is no evidence of intentional or negligence of the author. All offers are subject to change and non-binding. The author expressly reserves the right to change, supplement or delete parts of the pages or the entire offer without separate announcement or to discontinue the publication temporarily or permanently. Some FIWARE Impact Stories may be shortened.

FIWARE is the Open Source Platform for Our Smart Digital Future.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store