Web site to track SF green neighborhoods

April 22, 2009 12:23:39 PM PDT
There will soon be a new tool for San Franciscans who want to know just how green their neighborhood is. The city is trying to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2012

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The race to be the greenest is on in San Francisco; it's China Town versus North Beach versus Nob Hill - who recycles more, which neighborhood's residents drives more hybrids or takes the bus more. City residents can now be the first in the world to track their carbon footprint online.

"Remember, global energy consumption is the sum of all local consumption," said Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) San Francisco.

And when it comes to local consumption of energy, Newsom is pushing for city residents and businesses to be a global leader in reducing usage. So what better timing than on Earth Day to unveil http://www.urbanecomap.org a new Internet-based tool to help track your personal carbon footprint.

"EcoMap will give people an easy tool where they can choose the effort they want to put out, the cost they want to spend, the results they want to achieve," said Mark Westlund, S.F. Dept. of the Environment.

Westlund says EcoMap will also allow users to plug in their zip code and gauge how green their neighborhood is compared with the rest of the city. Plus it details ways to reduce energy consumption, and thus greenhouse gas emissions.

"This will give a whole list of options to fight global warming, from walking to work to buying a hybrid car to refitting your home with energy-efficient appliances," said Westlund.

"We have to start taking advantage of that innovative spirit that defines the best of our state and that's using technology," said Newsom. The technology behind Urban EcoMap was built by Cisco engineers in a public-private partnership with seven cities worldwide -- San Francisco is the first to launch the EcoMap as part of a 12 month pilot project. It's part of Cisco's pledge to use technology to help reduce carbon emissions.

"We are combining the power of the network, with a social networking perspective on top of it, to make sure that we go from collective intelligence into collective actions from our communities," said Nicola Villa, Cisco systems.

San Francisco gathered all the eco-data to make every neighborhoods energy usage as accurate as possible -- from PG&E to the DMV, all the details of your energy usage are there - so with everybody able to track - time to start walking.

The free climate tracking technology will be available for San Francisco residents to start using beginning next month, but you can view a video on the site by click here.

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