New Software Helps Visualize a City's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Ever wonder how the greenhouse gas emissions of your home compare to your neighbor's, or the supermarket down the street, or the office tower you work in? New software helps visualize such information in three dimensions across an entire city.
October 10, 2012, 8am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Developed by researchers at Arizona State University, the Hestia Project makes dramatically clear the comparative greenhouse gas emissions of a city's energy users, "right down to its individual buildings and roadways," explains Emily Badger. 

One of the project's key advances is that, "[t]he software corrals publicly available data wholly unrelated to climate change. That includes property tax filings that reveal the size and age of buildings, how they're used and what fuel heats them, DMV records on auto maintenance and inspections, and Metropolitan Planning Organization traffic count estimates."

"The researchers have begun to test the software in Phoenix and Los Angeles as well," notes Badger, "and [Kevin Gurney, an associate professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences and a senior scientist with the Global Institute of Sustainability] imagines that it would be particularly useful to city managers trying to figure out how to target limited resources toward the emissions sources with the greatest potential for reductions."

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Published on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 in The Atlantic Cities
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