As we move from educating people about climate change to taking action to mitigate climate impacts, we need technology, process, and culture to help spur a shift to climate-friendly social behavior in cities. Urban EcoMap helps address this objective. Urban EcoMap is a landmark innovation and a key element of a Connected and Sustainable Cities framework.
Eco Solutions for Local Communities
Urban EcoMap provides local communities with information on their progress toward meeting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals, and with access to the most useful, locally available tools and resources for reducing their carbon footprint. Urban EcoMap amasses information on a neighborhood level, organized by zip codes, in the following two ways:
- Discover Your City’s Neighborhoods: Through this visual display, residents can see their greenhouse gas contributions in the areas of transportation, energy, and waste. This information empowers neighborhoods to identify and take specific actions to fight climate change using approaches such as alternative-fuel vehicle ownership, recycling, and reducing household energy use.
- Take Climate Actions: Citizens can make decisions to help decrease the carbon footprint of their geographic regions, their particular zip code, and their city. They can make these choices by gaining visibility into several key factors, including the effort required to make the change, the associated cost or financial benefit, and the environmental impact of the action. Citizens can then share their climate actions with others via social networking.
In the future, the Urban EcoMap will address mobile applications, user-generated content, and access to real-time information pertaining to personal energy usage, transportation, and consumption behavior.
Urban EcoMap’s goal is to help spur a shift to climate-friendly behavior in cities. Citizens want to see the collective results of their individual climate-change actions. Urban EcoMap allows citizens to see the impact of their climate-change activities, while also motivating people and creating competition among neighborhoods:
- Brings the issue of climate change home by providing information about carbon sources and environmental solutions on a local level
- Conveys the message that “solutions are closer than you think” by offering easy access to resources that suggest effective options
- Provides a decision-making platform for individuals to set explicit goals according to personal effort, cost savings, and environmental impact
- Creates confidence that, by taking these small steps, individuals are contributing to the big solution by providing feedback on cumulative benefits / results
- Provides the ability to inspire others to take action
- Allows citizens to compare their cities’ climate-change actions with those of other cities
Urban EcoMap is fostering transparency and better communication and services to—and among—citizens regarding environmental issues:
- Provides citizens with access to concrete climate actions in their communities
- Improves decision-making support for energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions
- Tracks the effectiveness of climate-action programs
- Shares experiences among other cities
- Enables cities around the world to calculate the carbon footprint of their communities in a uniform way
- Provides third-party verified data that is compatible with internationally accepted sustainability protocols