Aclima Community Air Quality & Air Health

Project brief

Aclima has pioneered an entirely new way to measure and analyze air pollution and greenhouse gases, block by block and around the world. The Aclima hardware and software technology platform translates billions of scientific measurements from its network of stationary and roving sensors into environmental intelligence for governments, businesses, and communities. A Public Benefit Corporation, Aclima is dedicated to catalyzing bold action to protect public health, reduce climate-changing emissions and advance equity. For this project, Aclima is producing a report for the community on our data collection efforts. Internally, we've analyzed our data and have developed a narrative with a flow to tell the story. Now we'd like to produce an interactive web-based report with maps and graphs that tell the story. We are heavily influenced by interactive reports from The NY Times, Washington Post and The Guardian.


  • Aclima has a reusable framework & technology platform for sharing air quality data, analysis, and stories for its work across the country. Three locations using the same framework have launched as of @March 14, 2022, with many more planned in 2022 and beyond.
  • Aclima secured new contract opportunities worth >$1,000,000
  • Community environmental groups & regulators have shared source to inform changes to improve air quality and public health

Process & Team

Phase I

When Aclima approached us for this project, they were focused on developing a single report for a pilot project in Brooklyn, and wanted to take a new approach to data storytelling in the form of an interactive report. A small team of developers and designers brought together by project studio founder Jaron Heard worked on the initial product design and development in close collaboration with Aclima’s VP of UX, as well as a team of data scientists and content writers. The time from project kick-off to initial stakeholder release of the Brooklyn report was approximately 12 weeks.

Phase II

Following the successful stakeholder release, and with the Brooklyn work playing a key role in Aclima landing a large new contract, we developed a plan with Aclima to build from our work for Brooklyn to create a scaleable framework that could be reused across the many cities. In this phase, a small team of studio designers and developers worked in close collaboration with Aclima developers to adapt the Brooklyn design and technology stack to work for multiple locations, and launching three new reports for areas within the Los Angeles Basin. The time from project kick-off to public release was approximately 18 weeks.

After the public release of the Los Angeles Basin reports, we worked with Aclima to transition ongoing development of the application to their internal development team. Because of our close collaboration and teamwork with Aclima developers during Phase II, this transition was seamless.

Phase III

Building off of the previous work, Aclima looked to radically simplify the complexity of their air quality information by refocusing through the lens of air health.

This executive-driven redesign involved re-working the platform over the span of 3 weeks in a cross-functional, whole company effort. We worked with the product team to scope, the design team to clarify and refine new features, and the engineering team to enable and support rapid development.

The speed of this redesign was made possible by the technical architecture choices made in the first two phases.