HealthKer, a partnership for predicting air pollution

The HealthKer collaborative project has rolled out a travel and transport simulation model used by the inhabitants of the Rennes metropolitan area.

HealthKer, projet de recherche sur la mobilité et la qualité de l'air en ville

The project context

With an overrepresentation of car use for daily travel in Brittany compared to the national average, the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) and fine particles is a particularly strong challenge in the region.

This project aims to develop a simulation and prediction platform for human mobility behaviour and its impact on air quality.

Understanding the link between behaviour and air quality is a means of envisaging new means of action (multimodality, intermodality, new transport routes, pedestrian zones, etc.) and anticipating their effects on a city scale.

In the long term, the tool could also be made available to the public at large (in the form of a mobile application, for example) to facilitate multimodality, inform people and encourage the creation of communities and citizen action.

Objectives of the project

The HealthKer project aims to achieve several objectives.

The societal objective

To better understand and anticipate human behaviour and to make the link with air quality, requires multiple expertises (human activities, physico-chemical processes, impact of regulations on individuals, etc.) which come from a wide range of fields from human and social sciences to the study of physical phenomena.

The application objective

Through the creation of a user interface allowing to:

  • Pose the problem and hypotheses
  • Use the simulation models by agent
  • Visualise the different data sets

The research and innovation objective

The objective is to develop agent-based spatial models and simulations of the daily mobility of populations.

Demonstrators of the different study areas (urban and peri-urban) will be produced. They will be used as artificial laboratories to explore research hypotheses and as work of general interest, through their use in a simulator that will exploit them jointly.

The work carried out


Simulation of the dispersion of pollutants generated by car traffic in the city of Rennes. For this, 3 simulators are used:

1. Simulation of the movements of the entire population of Rennes

Preliminary work

Creation of a synthetic population: household/travel surveys give a very precise view of travel habits but on a subset of the population. The French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) censuses provide a statistical view, i.e. on the whole population, but with less precision. Preliminary work has made it possible to merge these data to recreate a simulated population representative of the entire population, i.e. more than 437,000 people, each with information on their living quarters, place of work, leisure activities, study, shopping, travel habits throughout the day, etc. This simulated population is exhaustive, in accordance with the household travel survey and in accordance with INSEE statistics.
Based on the synthetic population, Scalian has developed a tool to simulate the travel patterns of the entire population of Rennes during the day.

2. Simulation of pollutant emissions

Using the results of the travel simulation and a model of the pollution emitted by each type of vehicle, Scalian simulates the pollutant emissions emitted by car traffic in Rennes.

3. Simulation of the dispersion of pollutants

The simulated pollutant emissions are injected into a third tool allowing the simulation of the dispersion of these pollutants according to the weather and the profile of the buildings throughout the day.


EEGLE takes care of the visualisation of the results of the simulators developed by Scalian.


IRISA takes care of the validation by comparing the results obtained by the simulation with real measurements made by sensors.


Total budget: € 799,605
Scalian budget: € 479 455
Eligible budget: €474,115
Scalian grant: €172,234

Financial set up

Implementation date: from 01/11/2019 to 31/10/2021


  • SCALIAN DS (ETI), Rennes. Project leader
  • EEGLE (SME), Cesson-Sévigné
  • IRISA, University of Rennes 1


  • Air Breizh, subcontractor of IRISA

Pôle Images et Réseaux Label

Co-labelling: Pôle ID4Car


Project N° EU001001 – European aid from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the ERDF-SSE BRETAGE Operational Programme 2014-2020 “Investment for growth and employment

SCALIAN grant: 71 117 €


Project N° 0202/19006332/00151576 – Support within the framework of the call for collaborative innovation at the crossroads of sectors.

SCALIAN grant: 71 117 € of which:

  • Brittany Region: €49,782
  • Rennes Métropole: €21,335

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