Smog and air pollution trigger millions of hospital visits and health problems for Americans each year. And indoors, the air we breathe can be up to five times more polluted due to harmful chemicals and poor ventilation. The quality of our air comes at an economic cost. Breathing polluted air is shown to reduce cognitive function affecting our offices, schools and homes.
At its inaugural summit on air, The Atlantic explored the state of air in America and spotlighted ideas and strategies for making the air we breathe cleaner – and our citizens healthier.
Charlie Catlett, Director, Array of Things Project; Director, Urban Center for Computation and Data; Senior Computer Scientist Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago
Danielle DuMerer, Acting Commissioner and Chief Information Officer, Chicago Department of Innovation
As part of BBC News' #SoIcanbreathe season, this week Click focuses on air pollution. Spencer Kelly tests out a new air pollution monitoring camera on the streets of London from thermal camera makers FLIR and visits researchers at Imperial College. Over in Chicago, Marc Cieslak visits the array of things, a project to monitor the city's air in great detail to give the public, scientists and city officials the data they need to make informed choices around health and infrastructure. Sumi Das investigates a texting service called Crisis Text Line, a counselling service in the USA. Its algorithm analyses young people's text messages for concerning phrases to help prioritise the service, to respond to the most urgent texters first. Lara Lewington visits London's Wearable tech show to look at the latest in wearable devices and over at MIT researchers have created a mind-controlled robot, focusing on the strong signals sent from our brains when we witness the robot doing something wrong.
The "Array of Things" project at the Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont on April 4, 2016.
Students at Lane Tech High School devise sensor kits to gather data on school life as part of a six-week curriculum that ties into the city’s Array of Things environmental sensor initiative.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology announced the launch of OpenGrid, a website and mobile app that uses open data to let residents search for unique information and events happening around them. Using OpenGrid, residents can access data that is tailored to their location and needs, such as which city services are delivered on their block, nearby street closures, city activities happening in their communities, and more.
Charlie Catlett discusses the Urban Center for Computation and Data in a promotional video for a presentation he gave at the Argonne OutLoud Series on October 16, 2014. Catlett discussed how he and his colleagues are using high-performance computing, data analytics, and embedded systems to better understand and design cities.
The growing torrent of information released by city governments and collected by researchers is connecting with new tools developed by computer scientists, enabling significant advances in urban planning, medicine, social science and other spheres. On November 20, 2013 representatives of those fields gathered onstage for Chicago: City of Big Data, a UChicago Discovery Series panel discussion of research and educational efforts focused on transforming cities through data and computation. In a vibrant 90-minute conversation moderated by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), the panelists described work underway at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory and outlined their visions for the future of data-driven urban design and governance.
The Array of Things (AoT) is a network of interactive, modular sensor boxes to be deployed over the next 30 months in and around Chicago, collecting real-time data on the city’s environment, infrastructure, and activity for research and public use. Mounted on city light poles, the nodes will gather information on environmental factors (such as temperature, humidity, light, and pollutants) and human activity (sound, foot traffic) to better understand the city’s natural and built environment. All data collected by the sensors will be open and available to researchers, developers, and policymakers, to enable tools and activities that make the city healthier, efficient, and more livable. AoT will be a “national instrument” for research, ranging from technology to social sciences and education.
In this talk, CI Senior Fellow and UrbanCCD Director Charlie Catlett talks about the technology behind the AoT nodes, and previews the scientific applications that this rich new data source will make possible.
For the companion talk by Douglas Pancoast on AoT design and community engagement: http://youtu.be/eYDXMrAG8Ek
About Inside the Discovery Cloud Speaker Series 2014-15:
Computation catalyzes collaboration, placing disciplines with their own jargon, practices, and culture on common digital ground and bringing new capabilities and perspectives to propel discovery. The primary mission of the Computation Institute -- a joint initiative of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory -- is to advance and accelerate research across all fields. Partnerships between CI and domain scientists create pioneering and unique collaborations, investigating some of the largest scientific questions of our time: climate change, genetic medicine, global urbanization.
The CI’s 2014-15 Inside the Discovery Cloud speaker series will focus on these partnerships, presenting pairs of speakers who are working together to unlock new knowledge through computation. For more information, visit ci.uchicago.edu.
The rapid urbanization of the world presents new challenges to governments and city planners. The Urban Center for Computation and Data creates and applies modeling and simulation tools to increase understanding of cities and anticipate the effects of their growth on natural, built, and socioeconomic systems.