New DIY movement aims to tackle Stuttgart's pollution problem

The star of Daimler shines bright over Stuttgart. For more than a century, the provincial German capital has lived and breathed the car industry.

Now many locals are gasping for air.

Stuttgart has routinely been exceeding European limits for both nitrous oxide and fine particulates, which has been increasing linked with everything from damage during pregnancy through to dementia.

The city tests its air quality regularly, but for many that is not enough.

Stuttgart has been routinely been exceeding European limits for pollution. Credit: PA

Now, thanks in part to people power, the number of days upon which the safety limits are breached is falling.

At an office in the centre of the city, environmental campaigner Lucas Mocek told ITV News that easy to assemble air quality monitors, which cost just £30, are helping them put pressure on government officials.

Developed by the company The OK Lab, Mr Mocek insists this cheap piece of technology is just as good as those used professionally.

He said: "It is quite accurate, in 2015 we gave it to a material institute here in Stuttgart and they compared it in a professional chamber against a professional measurement device and there was close to now difference."

Environmental campaigner Lucas Mocek shows ITV News' James Mates the device. Credit: ITV News

With 700 devices across Stuttgart alone and more than 5,500 scattered around Europe, the data collected from these appliances is used to visualise the problem on a dedicated website.

For residents like Eva Weinmann, it's about making Germany’s car capital more liveable.

"I do see my friends move more and more out of the city and rather than complain and follow them I think we can actually raise our awareness a little bit more," she said.

The local government, who are facing growing public pressure for clean air, is now meeting European legal limits and promising things will get better.

The device used to measure pollution. Credit: ITV News