Finally, a way to track ‘green’ by neighborhood

When it comes to crowdsourced placemaking, it’s very difficult to do if the crowd doesn’t have a concrete goal in mind. This is especially the case when it comes to ‘green development’, which can have thousands of interpretations. Thankfully, via the County of San Francisco’s partnership with Cisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom launched Urban EcoMap pilot in San Francisco, which provides neighborhoods and citizens with defined benchmarks to crowdsource to. Announced on Earth Day 2009 (April 22), the program will go public at the Connected Urban Development conference in Seoul, South Korea on 21st May 2009. Seoul and Amsterdam are next in line for the program.

The carbon footprints of transportation, energy use, and waste, by neighborhood, will be visually presented on the website. It will not only show transportation, energy and waste impacts on carbon footprint, but show how that’s ranked against other neighborhoods and the city’s goal. In fact, they’ve even taken a page out of Nike-Apple’s wildly popular Nike Plus system for tracking personal running miles and applied it to individual carbon impact, where residents can set their own goals and track their progress by effort, cost or impact. There’s even an option to social network via Facebook with a visual map allowing people to tell their own unique green stories.

As far as crowdsourcing green on a neighborhood scale, now we’re getting somewhere. This is really, really big.