CITIES’ Special Projects (Ongoing)

NYUADAir: Real-time Air Quality Data Visualization at NYU Abu Dhabi campus

Researcher: Vince Nguyen (NYUAD CITIES Post-Graduate Research Fellow AY21-22)

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What is NYUADAir?

NYUADAir is a network of air quality sensors that monitors the concentration of particulate matter PM2.5 around NYU Abu Dhabi campus. The sensors were installed in hopes of raising the awareness among the NYU Abu Dhabi community towards more sustainable and healthy-living lifestyles.

This air quality monitoring network was part of a Capstone project at NYU Abu Dhabi in spring 2021. The project is currently supported and expanded by the Center for Interacting Urban Networks (CITIES) at NYU Abu Dhabi.

PM2.5 is considered one of the most hazardous air pollutants because it can penetrate our airways and lodge into our lungs and internal organs [1], causing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases [2]. NYUADAir adopts the Air Quality Index (AQI) by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to convert raw PM2.5 measurements into categories and color coding schemes.

Where are the sensors located?

The network comprises of 3 sensors:

  • One (1) outdoors in between A1 and A2 buildings
  • One (1) inside Campus Center (C2), representing the typical indoor air quality on campus with few to no emission source
  • One (1) inside East Dining Hall (D2), representing indoor spaces with emission sources (cooking, grilling…)


[1] Li, Donghai, et al. “Fluorescent Reconstitution on Deposition of PM 2.5 in Lung and Extrapulmonary Organs.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 116, no. 7, 2019, pp. 2488–93,

[2] Xing, Yu-Fei et al. “The impact of PM2.5 on the human respiratory system.” Journal of thoracic disease vol. 8,1 (2016): E69-74. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2016.01.19