How Green is Your Neighborhood?

San Francisco residents will get their first peek today at an inventive Internet-based tool that lets them track their personal carbon footprint and gauge how green their neighborhood is compared with the rest of the city.

"The Web site at UrbanEcoMap.org was built by Cisco Systems Inc., engineers using information such as trash collection, recycling rates and hybrid-car ownership to break down energy consumption and other environmental factors byZip code. For example, the map shows that Mayor Gavin Newsom's neighborhood has the 10th lowest level of overall carbon emissions.

The interactive technology won't be available to San Francisco users until mid-May, but residents can check out a video that explains the Web site and how to use it starting today.
"We hear so much about climate change, but the challenge is either so abstract or so big that consumers don't know what they can really do," said Wolfgang Wagener, director of the connected urban development program for Cisco. "The ecomap provides citizens with concrete, tangible access to information and resources with relevance to their daily life."

San Francisco is the first city in the world to take advantage of the ecomap technology. Amsterdam and Seoul will follow sometime this year. The maps will be updated regularly as part of a 12-month pilot project paid for by Cisco, which plans to transform the site to nonprofit status sometime in 2010."

Thanks to Laine Cidlowski

Full Story: Net tool tracks carbon footprint by ZIP code

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