Participatory Urban Sensing

Background 关于参与式城市感知的调查

Beijing City Lab ( in collaboration with Cambridge University Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction ( is studying the use of participatory urban sensing in contributing to the acceleration in urban air quality improvements in Chinese cities.  Participatory sensing means that the people who help to collect the information or data (principally using mobile devices) can participate in the design of the data collection objectives, in data gathering, analysis and interpretation if they wish to do so.  We would like to invite you to respond to the questions below, which will greatly help the development of a robust methodology for utilizing a number of new data sources.  There are only 12 sets of short questions which should be quick to answer.  We will greatly appreciate your contribution. You may delete unwanted choices or input your opinion(s) for each question in the e-file.

Ying Long (Beijing Institute of City Planning & Beijing City Lab)

Ying Jin (Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction, University of Cambridge)

Participatory urban sensing Delphi questionnaire A: individuals

Please input your opinions via downloading the file below and return it to Miss Wu via Please address any question to Dr Long via

Microsoft Word Document 47.0 KB

The context of the questionnaire (the same with the MS Word file)

Q1.  Urban participatory sensing

(a)    Have you heard this term before? 1) Yes 2) No 3)Maybe

(b)   For the purpose of accelerating urban air quality improvements, do you wish to participate in the following activities (you may choose more than one): 1) design of data collection objectives 2) gathering data 3) analysis 4) interpretation of the findings 5) other (please specify)

Q2. Individual citizens are now able to contribute to data gathering through mobile devices and social media, which has the potential to collect data that have never been possible in the past.  Have you previously used mobile phone or e-watch apps for monitoring your own activities in the city, for example for (you may choose more than one): 1) sports training 2) fitness 3) health 4) other (please specify)

Q3. Data collection tools

(a)    Are you willing to collect data for improving air quality (you may choose more than one) through: 1) downloading and using an app in your own mobile or tablet 2) carrying a specialist research instrument

(b)   If you are willing to carry a special research instrument for one day, will you be able to carry it if its size is: like 1) a wrist watch 2) iPhone 3) medium-sized school bag

Q4. There are many different pieces of data that can be collected using the mobile devices. Would you be willing to collect the data

(a)    if it requires only downloading the app to the mobile at the beginning and uploading the data from the mobile at the end of data collection?  1) Yes 2) No

(b)   if it requires making a short note at the beginning of each journey when you travel in the city? 1) Yes2) No

(c)    if it requires running the app when you are at a specific location of the city? 1) Yes 2) No

(d)   if it requires running the app at specific times? 1) Yes2) No

Q5.  The duration of sensing using mobile devices can be as short as one hour, or as long as a month.  For the current mobile devices, any continuous sensing longer than 3 hours is likely to require recharging the battery of the phone.  

Would you be willing to carry out sensing for (you may choose more than one): 1) 20 minutes 2) 1 hour 3) 3 hours 4) one day 5) one week 6) two weeks 7) one month

Q6. For analyzing the distribution of urban activities and air quality in different parts of the city, the data collection may also record your GPS trace and accelerometer reading.  This means that the data will reflect where you have been in the city and how active you are when the sensing app is running.  With this knowledge about your data, would you be willing to run the app to collect the information about yourself  (you may choose more than one): 1) at a time when it is required by a research project 2) at a time that is convenient to you.

Q7. The mobile sensing data can sometimes suffer from problems such as a faulty app, inaccuracy of the GPS traces, incomplete data uploading, etc.  If you take part in a data gathering exercise and the researchers have questions about the uploaded data, would you

(a)    Be willing to respond to the researchers’ queries? 1) Yes 2) No

(b)   Be willing to repeat the data collection exercise? 1) Yes 2) No

Q8. Comparing data with other contributors

(a)    Would you be interested in comparing your data with the average data collected by other contributors in similar circumstances? 1) Yes 2) No

(b)   Would you be interested in comparing your data with the individual data collected by other contributors, if they give consent? 1) Yes 2) No

Q9. Some argue that in addition to gaining satisfaction in contributing to a good deed, there should be appropriate financial incentives

(a)    Do you agree? 1) Yes 2) No

(b)   If so, for a week’s (7 days’) sensing work, how much would you think is a fair payment: 1) 250 yuan 2) 500 yuan 3) 750 yuan 4) 1000 yuan 5) 1500 yuan 6) 2000 yuan 7) >2000 yuan

Q10. It would be helpful for the analysis of this questionnaire to have your demographic and professional profile:

性别Gender: 1) Male 2) Female

年龄 1) 18岁及以下; 2) 1925; 3) 2630; 4) 3140; 5) 4150; 6) 5155; 7) 5660; 8) 6165; 9) >65.

Occupation: 1) Undergraduate student; 2) Postgraduate Student; 3) Academic, Researcher or Professional in the field of Urban Sensing; 4) Academic, Researcher or Professional outside the field of Urban Sensing; 5) Other (please specify) 

Q11. The analysis of the findings of this questionnaire will be reported in a chapter of the volume of selected papers from the 14th International Conference on Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management in July 2015 at MIT.  We will clearly acknowledge the collective contribution of all respondents to this questionnaire survey.

(a)     If you would like your name and affiliation to appear in the Acknowledgement section of the book chapter, please provide this information here (this information will not be used in analyzing the survey or in any other way):

(b)     Would you like to (you may choose more than one):  1) read an e-copy of this book chapter 2) continue to discuss the topic with us

(c)     If you have chosen either option in (b), please let us have an email address here (this information will not be used in any other way):

(d)     Would you allow us to retain your response for future analysis for similar research projects? 1) Yes 2) No

Q12. Do you have any comments and suggestions on this questionnaire, for example whether the questions are appropriate and whether we have missed any important topics.  Please state your comments and suggestions here if any:



Long et al 2015 CUPUM_UrbanSensing.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.6 MB