Portland, ORE. — The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) have been awarded a $100,000 grant by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to test low-cost air quality sensors to measure transportation-related emissions. Through this project, BPS will help develop standards for air quality data from low-cost devices and specialized guidelines to enable Portland and other cities to use low-cost air quality sensors.
“This project shows the potential for a ‘smart city’ to use new technologies and real-time data to clean up Portland’s air,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “Portland has some of the most creative problem-solvers in the country — in City agencies, at PSU, in our companies and across the community. The better we’re able to equip us all with good information, the faster the solutions will flow.”
The award will build on an initial PBOT pilot project started in December 2015 to test low-cost air quality sensors in transit-oriented corridors. The City of Portland will explore the use of these sensors to improve real-time understanding of transportation-related pollutants, using the data to inform public health considerations during planning and operations.
Global City Teams Challenge
The funding for the award comes from NIST’s Replicable Smart City Technologies Cooperative Agreement (RSCT) Program, which helps cities advance interoperable and standards-based "smart city" technology. The City of Portland is part of a Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Action Cluster studying the relationship between traffic operations, planning, and air quality through synthesizing air quality measurements, transit data, traffic signalization data, and pedestrian and bicyclist counts.
These integrated data streams can be used by city engineers, planners and the public to understand urban air quality impacts from transportation. The results are intended to improve transportation operations, enable assessments of public health and equity, advance Portland’s Climate Action Plan goals, and create opportunities for economic development and civic engagement.
The NIST award was granted on September 1, 2016, and will advance a multi-agency project partnership between BPS, PBOT and Portland State University. Project completion has been tentatively set for September 1, 2017.
# # #