Connectivity & Data
Governance and Citizen
Energy & Environment
Data from sensors will be accessible to the public on smartphones by scanning a QR code and will also be fed into the Chicago Open Data portal.
Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux has partnered with Microsoft Research’s Urban Innovation Group and the Array of Things team to launch an air quality sensor pilot in Chicago.
For the Chicago programme, JCDecaux installed 100 air quality sensors on its bus shelters for precise monitoring of air quality across the city and facilitate adapted environmental measures.
The World Health Organisation estimates that 91 per cent of the world’s population live in places where air quality exceeds guideline limits. Air pollution is a major concern for cities, given its consequences for human health and the environment. It is critical for urban areas to assess air quality on a real-time basis to be able to formulate policies to address these challenges.
By using environmental sensors, cities can radically increase the geographic granularity of environmental sensing in support of creating solutions to improve everyday air quality in the urban environment for a variety of public health scenarios.
“Our goal is to help inform and engage residents and the city so that they can take targeted steps to mitigate issues with poor air quality, especially in areas most in need”
With these environmental sensors, Chicago will be able to collect precise data and fine tune its approach to improving air quality and the quality of life of its inhabitants.
“We’re excited to partner with JCDecaux to enable neighbourhood scale air quality monitoring in Chicago. Together, our goal is to help inform and engage residents and the city so that they can take targeted steps to mitigate issues with poor air quality, especially in areas most in need,” Scott Counts, senior principal research manager at Microsoft Research, Urban Innovation Group.
“Leveraging the bus shelter network allows us to place air quality monitors at representative locations around the city and with a high density of coverage.”
The data will be accessible to the public on smartphones by scanning a QR code on each bus shelter referring to a website, designed by Microsoft Research, to provide the public with easily understood information from the air sensor data collected (at each location as well as in comparison to other locations). This information will also be fed into the Chicago Open Data portal.
“Cities are facing major challenges in terms of air quality and health. The unique density and coverage of street furniture in urban centres make them an ideal medium to plug environmental services, such as air quality sensors,” added Jean-François Decaux, chairman of the executive board and co-chief executive officer of JCDecaux.
“Improving urban living has always driven the efforts of JCDecaux to develop innovative and ecological services. Through this new partnership, and as a trusted media, JCDecaux demonstrates the usefulness and efficiency of its media for local areas and their populations and continues to be an integral part of an approach to raising awareness in its ecosystem to build a more sustainable world.”