Access Air Quality Information at a Soofa Digital Sign Near You
The Environment Department is excited to announce the launch of a new air quality widget. In partnership with Soofa, the City of Boston is making air quality information more accessible. Soofa is the leading supplier of solar-powered digital kiosks used as both a smart city communication tool and an out-of-home (OOH) advertising platform.
Now available at a Soofa sign location near you, the widget displays real-time air quality information, including the current Air Quality Index (AQI), as well as the forecast for days ahead. You will be able to see the AQI for PM 2.5, PM 10, and Ozone.
Particulate matter (PM) contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that can be inhaled and cause serious health problems (EPA). Ozone forms when two types of pollutants (VOCs and NOx) react in sunlight. These pollutants come from sources such as vehicles, industries, power plants, and products such as solvents and paints. Ozone at ground level can harm human health (EPA.)
The Boston Air Pollution Control Commission works to maintain healthy air quality levels in the City. Reducing air pollution results in healthier air for Bostonians. Common sources of air pollution include furnaces, boilers, and gas stoves, cars and trucks, industrial facilities, and forest fires. With the recent decline in air quality due to Canadian wildfires, it is even more evident the need for public awareness of air pollution, what causes it, and how Boston residents can protect themselves.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that air pollution can have a negative impact on human health. Women, children, and people of color can experience greater health risks.
The City of Boston is working to improve air quality in Boston in different ways. These initiatives work towards tackling the climate crisis in Boston while addressing economic, social, and racial inequities. The City’s work to become a Green New Deal city advances health, livability, and justice throughout our neighborhoods. Below are ways that the City is taking action to improve air quality in Boston.
- In 2021, the Air Pollution Control Commission piloted the Community Clean Air Grants. This pilot grant program funded community-driven projects that reduce air pollution and carbon emissions at a local level.
- Mayor Wu has committed to an electrified school bus fleet by 2030.
- Boston Public Schools installed Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) sensors in all classrooms that report real-time air quality information.
- Building Emissions Reduction and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) targets emissions at their biggest source: Boston’s large buildings. The goal is to reduce emissions gradually to net zero by 2050.
- Renew Boston Trust is the City’s initiative that conducts energy audits and invests conservation upgrades for municipal buildings.