Smart City Air Challenge

EPA conducted the Smart City Air Challenge, a contest for communities to develop plans for deploying hundreds of air quality sensors and making the data public, in the fall of 2016. The challenge was a great success, with 22 creative submissions and several communities implementing community air quality projects. You can see the rules of the challenge at

EPA is providing resources about these topics so communities can share knowledge about how they collect, store and manage large amounts of data from air quality sensors. EPA encourages communities and others to share their findings so other communities can learn from their successes, challenges and lessons.


EPA created a set of resource pages to assist communities in creating effective air quality projects. This is meant to be a sample of the many resources that exist. EPA reserves the right to include resources at our discretion, including their relevance to the challenge and in accordance with our privacy and security policies. EPA neither supports nor endorses the companies or organizations listed.


EPA is conducting a series of webinars about community air quality projects with a focus on data management. The next one is about how communities in southern California and New York City are using the data they gather from air quality sensors. It will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 from noon to 1:15 p.m. EDT.

Register now.

Learn more about the webinar series.


EPA selected the City of Baltimore and the Lafayette, La. Consolidated Government as awardees of the Smart City Air Challenge. The following two projects were selected as awardee recipients:

  • An Air Quality Sensor Network for Greater Baltimore: This Baltimore 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, La., 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

EPA is recognizing these four projects for honorable mention because of their innovation and potential to help other communities:

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