« City Eco Lab: soft tools for sharing | Main | City Eco Lab: "hybrid reality story scripts" about creative communities »

December 07, 2008

City Eco Lab: neighbourhood energy dashboard


In the central space of City Eco Lab, a variety of live projects were on show that dealt with energy, water and mobility. Two key questions emerged: What variables make a neighbourhood sustainable, or not? And how do you measure them?

Magalie Restalo, a designer from St Etienne, presented the prototype of an energy and resource flows dashboard that would indicate the impacts of different kinds of interventions: feeding the quartier's citizens more from allotment gardens; increasing the flow of foods through the community-supported agriculture system AMAP; and the use of bicycle based couriers such as Les Coursiers Verts.

The animation is not real-time, but it is based on reasonably hard numbers. The idea is to show citizens of the neighbourhood how much difference each of the possible changes would make.

If you've followed this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I've been trying to commission dashboards for cities and regions for years now - but until the St Etienne project, they never left the drawingboard. (For Dott 07 in North East England, for example, I commissioned a project called Vital Signs which morphed into an quite different art project to the one I'd anticipated).

So I'm doubly thrilled and impressed that Restalo, who was supported in the project by EDF, has made such an effective prototype. It's an impressive piece of work as you will see from the animated version here.

Posted by John Thackara at December 7, 2008 09:00 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)