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Google’s tool to help cities measure emissions expands to Europe

The first European cities to gain access are Dublin, Birmingham and Manchester, with Wolverhampton and Coventry to follow soon.


Google’s free Environmental Insights Explorer (EIE) tool, which aims to make it easier for cities to measure, plan and reduce carbon emissions, has been made available in Europe for the first time.


Designed in collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), EIE analyses Google’s global mapping data to estimate building and transportation carbon emissions and renewable energy potential. This data can then help build policies, guide solutions and measure progress.


Previously, the tool was only available to US cities. The first European cities to gain access are Dublin, Birmingham and Manchester, with Wolverhampton and Coventry to follow soon.


Dubin is using EIE insights to inform smart transit programmes.


In Dublin, city leaders are using EIE insights to inform smart transit programmes with the goal of reducing emissions and increasing the use of cleaner modes of travel.


Owen Keegan, chief executive, Dublin City Council, said: “Now we can bring Environmental Insights Explorer data analytics to conversations about transportation greenhouse gas emissions and show people the impact of supporting such programs to help start reducing emissions for our entire city which can help inform the debate."



Air quality in Copenhagen


Starting in Copenhagen, Google is also making "hyperlocal", street-level air quality data available. This is part of a new section called EIE Labs.


Google is creating Copenhagen’s new air quality map in partnership with the City of Copenhagen and scientists at Utrecht University, bringing in data from Project Air View, which equips Google Street View vehicles with equipment to measure air quality at street-level.


The preliminary map shows the block-by-block concentration of black carbon and ultrafine particle pollution.


“Measuring ultrafine particles and black carbon at street level are important steps for the City of Copenhagen to understand how we can prioritise actions to secure a clean and healthy city for our citizens. This new data displays the dynamic levels of ultrafine particles and black carbon with a strong overall relation to traffic patterns, but also hotspots like the narrow streets in our old city centre,” said Rasmus Reeh, senior developer at the Copenhagen Solutions Lab, City of Copenhagen.


Amanda Eichel, executive director, GCoM, commented: “We believe EIE can serve as a critical first step for city sustainability teams to better assess their current situation and more efficiently track and monitor their progress in meeting their climate protection goals.”


Cities can be nominated as candidates for EIE, online.


Google’s sister company Sidewalk Labs is building a smart development in Toronto.


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