Nicola da Schio

Research staff

  • Current position PhD Researcher
  • Contact Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Department of Geography
    Faculty of Sciences
    Building F – Room 4.70
    Pleinlaan 2
    BE-1050 Brussels
  • Phone +32 (0)2 629 26 71
  • E-mail
  • Website

Nicola da Schio is PhD researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and Brussels focal person for the AirCasting Brussels Project (SmarterLabs).

In his research, he looks at pollution from different perspectives: by investigating how the burden is distributed among places and people in relation to other externalities of agglomerations;  by studying the different claims and forms of knowledge that exist about it, making it visible and palpable, and determining what is socially and biologically acceptable; and by exploring how both the geography of air pollution and the knowledge about it make it (or not) a legitimate object of political contestation and potential transformation.Since 2018 he sits in the steering committee of BSI-Brussels Centre Observatory

Before joining VUB Nicola worked with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on issues related to the urban environment and cycled through Europe to explore and promote ecomobility practices. Previously he also worked with different international institutions and NGOs in Western Europe, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

His current research is focused on:

  • The ecology, knowledge and politics of air pollution
  • The urban commons, the goods and burdens of agglomeration
  • Action research, Living Labs and Citizens Science

Key publications

CHEMIN L., DA SCHIO N., CASSIERS T. 2019, Citizen Science: collective knowledge empowers, BRAL & Cosmopolis

DA SCHIO, Nicola et al., L’air d’un Bruxellois: self-portraits of personal exposure to air pollution, in Toxic News 9:2

DA SCHIO, Nicola, BOUSSAUW Kobe, SANSEN Joren (2018), Accessibility versus air pollution: a geography of externalities in the Brussels agglomeration, in Cities. [pdf]

DA SCHIO, Nicola, DE GEUS, Bas, & BOULAND, Catherine (2017). A brief guide to the air of Brussels. in BSI BCO – Brussels Centre Observatory Portfolio #2. [pdf]

FRYXELL Stellan, DA SCHIO Nicola, (2016) UNEP: The ABC for Sustainable Cities

DA SCHIO Nicola, FAGERLUND BREKKE Kathrine (2013) The relative carbon footprint of cities, working papers of “Programme Villes & Territoires”, Paris, Sciences Po

DA SCHIO Nicola (2013) Stimulating Renewable Energy through Public and Private Procurement, in ICLEI and IRENA: Renewable Energy Policy in Cities Selected Case Studies

DA SCHIO Nicola (2013) Local Government Regulation Ordinances and Laws to Promote Renewable Energy, in ICLEI and IRENA: Renewable Energy Policy in Cities Selected Case Studies

Educational background

2010– 2012  | MS in Governing the Large Metropolis (Distinction, summa cum laude), Sciences Po - Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris, France

2009-2010   | Grad. Diploma in Economics, SOAS - School of Oriental and African Studies – London, UK

2006-2009   | BA in Political Sciences and International Relations (110/110 cum laude) Università degli Studi di Padova – Padua, Italy

Previous positions

2014 Nov.- ’16 May     | Sustainable Buildings & Cities Specialist at UNEP (Paris)

2014 Apr. - ’16 May     | Urbanist, Lecturer & Activist (different cities in Europe)

2013 Mar.-’14 Mar       | Partnership Officer at UNEP (Addis Ababa)

2012 Aug.-’13 Jan.      | Urban Research Assistant at ICLEI (Bonn)