Ahh, man. It’s really cool that the City of Philadelphia has continued to set sustainability goals in the face of climate change. It would be a lot cooler, though, if they made all those metrics digestible.
Like, with a visualization tool that regular people who aren’t policy wonks or data nuts can mess around with and use to understand those eight sustainability benchmarks in the Office of Sustainability‘s Greenworks plan. Maybe they could even tap the Office of Open Data and Digital Transformation to get it done.
Maybe they just did all of that.
No, but for real — they really did. It’s the Greenworks Dashboard, and it’s pretty nifty.
For instance, you can use it to check up on pollution measurements with an interaction visualization of the Air Quality Index. Want to scope annual energy use throughout the city? There’s a graph for that. You can even see how Philadelphians are getting around, whether that be by bike, by carpool, by driving alone and by public transit (not likely at the moment).
The success of Greenworks, said Sustainability Director Christine Knapp in a statement, will “depend on the many partners within and beyond city government.” It will also depend, in part, on the general public understanding what the hell Greenworks is.
This tool should come in handy for folks who have internet access and/or are civically engaged. How City Hall and its sustainability partners plan on getting the rest of everyday Philadelphia engaged with Greenworks is another challenge altogether.
Maybe — hopefully — we’ll report on an initiative that does just that someday soon — something like GreenFutures, which is making the city’s sustainability goals accessible for students in the School District of Philadelphia.
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Update: Such an initiative does exist. The Office of Sustainability’s “Greenworks on the Ground” will offer printed resource sheets detailing “actions to contribute to the solutions targeted to individuals” to those without internet access. Read PlanPhilly’s story for more info.-30-
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