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Managing Urban Air Quality (Chicago)

Managing Urban Air Quality (Chicago)

Array of Things (AoT) provides application developers with near-real time, high spatial-temporal resolution data about urban air quality, weather, and other factors. AoT provides tech/service developers with an urban scale testbed to embed new technologies and services in the built infrastructure.

Project milestone

In Development

Idea Complete
Prototype Complete
In Development
Deployed
Commercialized

Impact statement

This project is investigating how cities might optimize air quality by managing traffic flow, for instance, via schedules or temporary routing. This requires understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of urban air contaminants, particularly related to vehicle emissions, and in the context of diverse weather, natural topology, and built form of cities. The project leverages Chicago’s Array of Things (AoT) initiative, which uses resilient embedded systems technology developed at Argonne National Laboratory. The AoT provides an urban scale testbed to embed new technologies and services in the built infrastructure, enabling application developers to access near-real time, high spatial-temporal resolution data about urban air quality, weather, and other factors. Deploying technologies in urban spaces is costly, so the project leverages existing street furniture, integrating AoT’s air quality and environmental sensors into solar powered, networked waste stations built by BigBelly, a waste solutions company. BigBelly operates nearly 30,000 waste stations in cities globally, and provides a vehicle through which sensors can be deployed in many diverse urban settings. The project brings together computer science, cyber physical systems, distributed systems, and sensor systems expertise to explore technical and societal challenges and opportunities of urban-scale embedded systems in the public sphere, initially related to understanding and ultimately managing urban air quality.

Acknowledgements

UrbanCCD's Array of Things project is supported with funding from Argonne National Laboratory and in-kind support from the City of Chicago, the University of Chicago, and eight industry partners.