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#456 Urban Air Chicago: Designing a Network for Hyperlocal Air Quality Sensing


Madeleine I. G. Daepp, Ph.D., Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research; Pronouns: She/her/hers

How clean is Chicago’s air? Over the last month, you might have seen a white leaf on top of bus shelters around the city. That leaf is a sensor – an infrastructureless, cellular-connected and battery-powered device that collects data on fine particulate matter every five minutes. At over 100 bus stops, Chicago residents can now scan a QR code and see air quality data in real time.

The leaf devices are part of Project Eclipse, a collaboration between the Urban Innovation team at Microsoft Research and JCDecaux, which manages the city’s bus shelters, as well as the city, academic researchers (including the Array of Things), and local environmental justice organizations. In this talk, Madeleine Daepp – a Senior Researcher from the Microsoft Research team – will discuss the process, promise, and pitfalls of a city-scale sensing deployment. She will describe the strategy the research team used in designing the network and the importance of prioritizing community-selected sites. Early findings include a 4th of July spike, a wildfire smoke event, and evidence of spatial clustering and socioeconomic disparities. Finally, Madeleine will share the team’s planned next steps, including making data open-access and designing a data narration dashboard.

ASL This event will not have an American Sign Language interpreter.