Chicago bus shelters monitor air quality 

Public can uses smartphones to access data at each shelter
Air Quality & Weather Systems / August 2, 2021
By Ben Spencer
JCDecaux Microsoft Research’s urban innovation group air quality sensors Chicago
JCDecaux sensors will record air quality and humidity across the city (© Tea |

Outdoor advertising company JCDecaux has partnered with Microsoft Research’s urban innovation group to deploy air quality sensors on 100 bus shelters in Chicago. 

JCDecaux says the sensors will measure and record air quality, temperature, and humidity across the city and throughout various weather conditions.

The public can access the data on their smartphones by scanning a QR code on each bus shelter referring to a website designed by Microsoft. This information will also be fed into the Chicago Open Data portal.

Scott Counts, senior principal research manager at Microsoft Research, urban innovation group, says: “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. 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 project also involved input from the Array of Things team, a collaborative effort in which scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago collect real-time data on the urban environment for research and public use. 

In a separate move, JCDecaux recently launched a range of bus shelters, including Filtreo, which comes with a roof made of a carpet of moss that captures and absorbs pollutants providing cleaner air to passengers.

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