San Francisco taps big data to measure neighborhood sustainability. Though San Francisco is often thought of as the epicenter of urban sustainability, the city is now embarking on a new venture that will use open data to monitor neighborhoods and predict future urban development.

The Neighborhood Sustainability Approach

Teaming with the University of Chicago, and using Chicago’s WindyGrid framework design, city planners will be able to measure each community’s sustainability levels using metrics such as energy, water usage, materials management, health, local habitat, community investment and mobility.

The use of such data could provide data-driven accountability for each neighborhood for the first time. The big challenge will be coordinating data sets and mapping out the specific neighborhoods. The anticipated approach is to establish eco-districts within a community that share residential, commercial, and industrial characteristics.

A beta version is expected in early 2015, with a public version shortly thereafter.

We want this to be a demonstration project that shows cities the power of data and citizen-facing technologies that change the way cities grow.” — Matthew Gee, Project Coordinator, University of Chicago

For the full article, see the NationSwell website.