EcoPod pop-up educates Windy City on its air quality and climate impact

The green EcoPod trailer rolled through Chicago this past April and May, to engage communities with local climate data for awareness and resilience, as well as spark conversation on air quality within the city’s built environment. Photo courtesy WZMH Architects

The green EcoPod trailer rolled through Chicago this past April and May, to engage communities with local climate data for awareness and resilience, as well as spark conversation on air quality within the city’s built environment.

WZMH Architects collaborated with Microsoft’s Urban Innovation research team, Azure IOT, and Nassal to retrofit a small portable trailer into a destination for residents to learn directly about their air quality. The product of this teamwork was the EcoPod.

Urban Innovation also led a team to gather data by deploying more than 100 air quality sensors through Project Eclipse—creating one of the densest urban air-sensing networks in a North American city.

Due to its citywide coverage, the collection and analysis of this data can monitor disparities in air pollution across space and over time. The EcoPod brought this data to residents to allow them to see current air quality readings in their own neighborhoods and compare their levels across the city.

However, analyzing the data is only the first step. The EcoPod also enables community voices to help shape, translate, and deliver the data into measurable actions, allowing them to take the reins in steering the future of their built environment.

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