The EPA has selected the City of Baltimore and the Lafayette, Louisiana, Consolidated Government as awardees of the Smart City Air Challenge. The challenge encourages communities to install hundreds of air quality sensors and share the data with the public. The agency also has recognized four projects for honorable mention: New York, New York; Mesa County, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina and Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.

“I firmly believe that data can make a positive difference in human health and environmental protection,” said Ann Dunkin, EPA’s Chief Information Officer. “We are looking forward to working with these Smart City Air Challenge awardees and honorable mention communities to share knowledge about collecting, storing and managing large amounts of data.”

The projects were evaluated on four criteria: data management, data use, sensor procurement and deployment and project sustainability. The two awardees will receive $40,000 each to deploy air sensors, share data with the public and develop data management best practices. After a year of implementing the projects, both communities will be eligible to receive up to an additional $10,000 based on their accomplishments and collaboration.

The following two projects were selected as awardee recipients:

An Air Quality Sensor Network for Greater Baltimore: This Baltimore, Maryland, project incorporates plans to engage several partners and neighborhoods to deploy a network of sensors in a phased approach, leveraging a scalable cloud platform for data management. They plan to assemble commercially-available components to build their sensor system and distribute the data on a City of Baltimore website.

Lafayette Engagement and Research Network (LEaRN): This Lafayette, Louisiana, project proposes a partnership between collegiate, local government and non-governmental organizations to deploy a network of sensors. The project has a strong data management plan that will use a scalable cloud platform. They plan to use commercially-available sensors for the project and share the data with the public in a variety of ways.

Honorable mentions

The EPA is recognizing these four projects for honorable mention because of their innovation and potential:

  • Healthy Mesa County & Mesa County Health Department: Smart City Air Challenge Solution: Mesa, Colorado
  • Air Quality Crowdsourcing Data in Minneapolis/St. Paul: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
  • New York City Air Casting Project: EPA Smart City Air Challenge Solution: New York, New York
  • Citizen science with Ground-Level Ozone Wearables Sensors (GLOWS) for real-time pollution maps across the Research Triangle: Research Triangle, North Carolina

EPA will be available as a resource to the awardees and honorable mention projects to share knowledge about how they collect, store and manage large amounts of data. EPA encourages these communities and others to share their findings so other communities can learn from their successes, challenges and lessons.

Learn more about EPA’s Smart City Air Challenge awardees and honorable mentions:

Learn more about EPA’s Smart City Air Challenge: