Kooperationsstelle Hamburg IFE - Institut für internationale Forschung, Entwicklung, Evaluation und Beratung


The European Union’s 6th Framework programme on research has financially supported the organisation of a project in which two research institutes and four cyclists’ associations combine forces. The ‘VECTOR’ project  – Visualisation of the Exposure of Cyclists to Traffic (emissions) On Roads –  started in January 2007 and will last until June 2009. Its ultimate goal was “to improve cycling policies and infrastructure in European cities”.  The research institutes involved represent The Netherlands and Germany:

  • IVAM – Research and Consultancy on Sustainability; University of Amsterdam (coordinator)
  • Kooperationsstelle Hamburg

In addition, four national cyclists’ associations are project partners:

  • Fietsersbond (Netherlands)
  • Algemeiner Deutscher Fahrrad Club (Germany)
  • Hungarian Cyclists’ Club (Hungary)
  • Viesoji Istaiga ‘Du Ratai’ (Lithuania)

The project partners address the issue of cyclists being exposed to traffic-related particles, try to collect additional data on this exposure and on the factors influencing exposure, and will try and convince local authorities to improve the situation for cyclists. In order to reach the goals, a number of activities are carried out

  • Measuring cyclists’ exposure to ultrafine particles from traffic;
  • Presenting the results in an innovative way: ‘real-time visualisations’ (exposure graphs combined with video recordings)
  • Informing and ‘activating’ members of cyclists’ associations, the general public and local authorities.

The VECTOR project brings together expertise and cycling circumstances in ‘east and west’. Variations in the public awareness of the urban air quality issue, in vehicle types and in traffic infrastructure will be present and will make the project particularly interesting. The project will try and create awareness and policy actions among several types of stakeholders, mainly through the contacts of the cycling associations in the team. In addition, students of universities are involved in the project, in order to bridge the gap between science and society (figure 2). The students perform desk studies (e.g. on health effects of particulates, former measurements and air quality policies in the EU member states) and will assist in the measurements that will be carried out from September 2007 until May 2008.

Vector video:
Link to the Vector video on youtube

Vector studys:
– A literature (review)study on the health and environmental effects of particulate matter in the Netherlands
– Human Health Effects of Ultrafine Particles
– Past exposure to diesel exhaust particulate
– Summary cyclists traffic emissions
– Visualising cyclists’ exposure to fine particles