Boston Adds Air Quality Data at Kiosks


With increases in poor air quality stemming from Canadian wildfires this year, the city of Boston has been adding a new air quality widget to its service lineup at digital kiosks throughout the city.

The Boston Department of Environment is collaborating on the project with Soofa, a supplier of solar-powered digital kiosks which are used as smart city communication tools and advertising platforms. The new widget displays current air quality information, which includes real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) figures and forecasted conditions for days ahead.

“We’re excited to partner with Soofa to increase accessibility of live air quality information and help Bostonians make educated decisions to protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution,” said Maria Rodriguez Ortega, air quality project manager with the City of Boston Environment Department.

“Air pollution affects everyone, but it disproportionately impacts environmental justice communities,” she said. “This initiative is one of many strategies to help the City of Boston close this gap.”

The Boston Air Pollution Control Commission noted that bad air quality caused from raging Canadian wildfires was the motivating factor for the creation of the widget. The recent air quality problem makes it “even more evident the need for public awareness of air pollution, what causes it, and how Boston residents can protect themselves,” the commission said.

“This cutting-edge widget is designed to safeguard public health by providing real-time observed air quality data and forecasts using information from more than 2,000 monitoring stations,” said Jacques de Kock, Soofa’s head of engineering. “As we strive to make a positive impact, Soofa wants to ensure that the people of Boston can access crucial air quality information and stay protected wherever they are.”

Soofa added that it aims to expand its air quality widget to kiosks nationwide.