Managing traffic based on real-time environmental data

The Challenge

The city of Almere is developing rapidly. The A6 highway is being expanded from four to six lanes to accommodate increasing traffic. Plans have been drafted for an entirely new neighbourhood, Almere Pampus. Preparations for Almere Floriade 2022, the world’s largest horticultural expo, are in full swing. And the nearby Lelystad Airport is set to open next year.

With all these large changes in and around Almere, the city government had questions. What is the impact of these developments on the local environment and the quality of life of Almere residents? For example, how will the expanded highway affect air quality? To what extent will nitrogen levels change with the construction of a new neighbourhood? And how do meteorological factors such as humidity, wind and temperature play into all of this?

Use of real-time data

For a fast-growing city like Almere, data related to quality of life is crucial in making decisions on future developments. In addition, the city was interested in using real-time data on factors such as noise, air quality and wind direction to manage traffic. Almere’s traffic control partner Vialis contacted Hyrde to help devise and execute a plan.

Our Solution

Together with Vialis, our VolkerWessels sister company, we developed a plan to collect real-time data. Sensors were placed at intersections throughout the city. These sensors allow us to monitor air quality by measuring humidity, temperature, particulate matter (PM2.5, PM10) and nitrogen (NOx, NO2). We also handed out so-called ‘sniffer bikes’ that collect data on temperature, humidity and particulate matter as they move through the city.

Collecting data in EKCO

All data is first collected in a data lake, which is part of the Hyrde data platform: EKCO. It is then processed and sent to the Vialis traffic dashboard, which the city had already been using. This allows the city’s traffic measurement and analysis professionals to view all relevant data in a single dashboard. Based on real-time data, they can now make better traffic management decisions to improve the flow of traffic and maintain air quality standards.

Martijn van Beek — Product Development Manager at Vialis

Hyrde’s expertise in IoT solutions and data transmission allowed us to develop this innovative service for the city of Almere. We look forward to continuing our partnership as we tackle urban challenges related to mobility, safety and sustainability for other cities as well.

Our Approach

The first step in this project was to get a clear picture of Almere’s plans for the future and how we could best assist them. We developed a plan in close collaboration with Vialis, the main contractor in this project, combining their experience in traffic control and our expertise in IoT solutions and data management. After the city of Almere approved the plan, Hyrde selected suitable IoT sensors for the project and built the system. Following a successful testing period at just two intersections, we will soon proceed with the full roll-out, installing sensors at intersections across the city.

To test the sniffer bikes, we handed out a few to people involved with the project. But in the next phase, these bikes will be made available to citizens of Almere. We expect this will make people feel more involved with the project and improve ties between the city government and Almere residents.