From Data to Action: Valley Vision's Air Quality Progress with Clarity Sensing-as-a-Service

Learn how Valley Vision deployed 20 Clarity Node-S air monitors across Sacramento, providing real-time, local air quality data to over 50,000 residents.

A Clarity Node-S device
20 Node-S air sensors

installed across Sacramento

50,000+ residents

with access to real-time, local air quality data

7,296 visitors

to Clarity data portal on Valley Vision's website

Adrian Rehn

Adrian Rehn

Project Leader, Valley Vision
“We're a nonprofit, so we don't have a ton of capacity to mess around with tech. Clarity devices are easy to deploy and solar-powered, so you can put them in parks, on rooftops, wherever — and they just work. We can focus on working with our community members.”

Valley Vision, a civic leadership organization in Sacramento, focuses on improving the livability of the region by collaborating on bold, long-term solutions to enhance the lives of local residents. One of their projects, Sacramento Neighborhoods Activating on Air Quality (SNAAQ), was initiated to address air pollution concerns in frontline communities. 

In this case study, we’ll dive into the do’s and don’ts of building a successful air monitoring network with Valley Vision’s Adrian Rehn. Watch the full webinar here.

The Situation

Sacramento is home to several communities that have been affected by air pollution due to historical redlining and other factors. These communities have suffered from high pollution burdens, leading to health issues and a decreased quality of life.

Valley Vision
aimed to address these concerns by advocating for programs like California’s AB 617, which focuses on emission reduction in frontline communities.

Through this program, CARB awarded a two-year Community Air Grant to a group of local Sacramento nonprofit organizations, including Valley Vision, to help the North Sacramento and Oak Park neighborhoods monitor their air, understand how air quality impacts health, and develop a plan to reduce exposure to air pollution.

The Challenge

Valley Vision needed a reliable and efficient air monitoring solution that could be deployed in strategic locations across its Sacramento communities. They needed a system that would:

  • Be easy to install
  • Provide accurate data
  • Be accessible to the community members 

The goal was to collect data on air quality and use this information to create action plans for emission reduction in the affected areas. Hear from Valley Vision’s Adrian Rehn on how the community ultimately decided on its monitoring sites:

The Solution

Valley Vision turned to Clarity Movement for their air monitoring needs, deploying 20 Clarity Node-S devices across North Sacramento and Oak Park. The Clarity Node-S monitors are solar-powered and easy to install, which made them an ideal solution for a nonprofit organization like Valley Vision.

North Sacramento and Oak Park monitoring sites.

The data collected by the Clarity Node-S devices were used to create maps and visualize air quality in the communities through Clarity’s OpenMap integration. Valley Vision and its partners then used this data to engage community members in discussions about air quality concerns and potential emission reduction strategies. Valley Vision’s partner, Breathe California Sacramento Region, also developed an educational curriculum to teach people about air pollution, environmental justice, and advocacy for solutions.

Breakthrough Sacramento students using food coloring and other household items to learn about how their daily activities contribute to air pollution.

The Outcome

Live data from the Clarity Node-S air quality monitors are viewable from the portal above. Click on a specific monitor to view current Air Quality Index (AQI) information and levels of PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter).

The first phase of the SNAAQ project has resulted in several positive outcomes for the communities involved:

  • Deployment of 20 air monitors providing accurate and reliable data on air quality.
  • Creation of simple visualizations to help community members understand air quality concerns in their neighborhoods.
  • Development of one-page Community Air Action Plans for each neighborhood, serving as a starting point for future emission reduction strategies.
  • Collaboration with community members to prioritize actions and allocate resources for emission reduction projects.
  • Engagement in community-based planning through environmental justice listening sessions, self-guided tours, and virtual block parties.
  • Initiation of a workforce development pilot program with an emission reduction component.
20 Clarity Node-S air monitors have been split between the project neighborhoods
“Success doesn’t stop at measurement. We engaged in community-based planning with our community partners. We worked with neighbors to have intimate environmental justice listening sessions. We also had a self-guided EJ Tour where folks could walk around their neighborhood, looking at our data map, and then mark down things that they saw in the neighborhood that might be concerning. And we had a couple of fun virtual block parties, too!” — Adrian Rehn, Project Leader, Valley Vision

Valley Vision's long-term goal is to have more communities in the region designated as AB 617 communities, leading to more funding and resources for emission reduction projects. In the nearer term, working through a second Community Air Grant, the team continues to leverage air monitor data as it works alongside community members in deepening strategies for emissions reductions. Before the end of 2023, the SNAAQ coalition will have implemented an emissions reduction pilot project, sharpened a community grounded emissions reduction strategy, and utilized community-guided participatory budgeting to allocate resources. The data and insights provided by Clarity's air monitoring solutions have been instrumental in helping Valley Vision and the communities they serve to better understand and address air quality concerns.

SNAAQ is an excellent example of how Clarity Movement's Sensing-as-a-Service solution can empower communities to take action on air quality issues. By providing reliable, accurate data and user-friendly visualizations, Clarity's Node-S devices have enabled Valley Vision and the Sacramento communities to create targeted action plans and advocate for change.

>> Learn more about Valley Vision and SNAAQ here

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