MOTUnes Monday | Destination Anywhere

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities showcases a song related to transportation, energy, or sustainability. This week, we’re riding with the Commitments to anywhere the train goes.

Tidbit Tuesday | Residential Recycling Diversion Rates

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

To build on last week’s post about litter, we decided to take a look at residential recycling diversion data provided by the Streets Department. One of the main ways we can reduce the amount of waste going to Philadelphia’s landfills is by recycling.  But have Philadelphians gotten better at recycling over the years?

Tidbit Tuesday_Recycling [Converted]-01

The maps above show the residential recycling diversion rates for each recycling district during fiscal years 2001, 2005, 2009, and 2013.  A residential recycling diversion rate indicates the ratio of material recycled (in tons) to material sent to landfill (in tons) by residents in a given fiscal year. This means, for example, that in the recycling districts shaded the darkest blue above, over a year residents recycled roughly a third of what they threw away, by weight. Importantly, these figures do not include any commercial or construction & demolition recycling in the public and private sectors. They also do not include any waste to energy processing. As the maps show, in the past 13 years, residential recycling diversion rates have increased throughout the city. In 2001, only residential districts in the Northwest and Northeast had recycling diversion rates above 7%; in 2013, almost every recycling district had a rate of at least 14%.  Of course, these data tell only part of the story of waste management in the city. To dig into these data, and others on city waste, check out the recent EcoCamp data release here.

MOTUnes Monday | Chattanooga Choo Choo

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU) brings you MOTUnes Monday, a selection of some of our favorite transportation related songs. This week, we’re taking the Chattanooga Choo Choo to Terminal Station in Tennessee.

 

Tidbit Tuesday | EcoCamp Streets Litter Index

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

Clean streets are one of the key factors that promote walkability. How clean are our streets? This week, we looked at Streets Litter Index from EcoCamp data recently released by the  Philadelphia Streets Department. West and North Philadelphia have among the highest street litter indices in the city, as do other highly populous areas, as seen by the similarities between the Street Litter Index map and population maps below.

Over the past 5 years Philadelphia’s streets have generally become cleaner, as shown by a comparison of litter indices collected in the autumns of 2008 and 2013.  Read more about the Street Department’s UnLitter Us Campaign here.

PhillyLitterScoreMap

To get a better idea of where litter ends up, what types of litter are most common, and who pays for cleanup, we took a look at the 2009 National Visible Litter Survey and Litter Cost Study. As illustrated by the charts below, transitional areas, such as train stations, accumulate the most litter, since they often require that people discard items such as cigarettes and food prior to entry. The most prevalent form of litter is cigarette butts. Nationally, the cost of cleanup mainly falls on businesses, who contribute 79.5% of the funds required to remove litter.

Trash Talk-01

More Streets Department EcoCamp data can be found here.

City Departments Release 15 Environmentally-Themed Datasets for Hackathon

Originally posted on PhillyInnovates :

MyPark, an app built at the EcoCampPhilly Hackathon

Stormfighter, an app built at the EcoCampPhilly Hackathon

What can we accomplish with a little collaboration? A lot. Last week five City departments released a total of 15 new data sets in support of Azavea’s EcoCamp event. Among those contributing were the Streets Department, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Community Life Improvement Program (CLIP), Parks and Recreation, and the Water Department.

EcoCamp is a series of events “promoting sustainability and the environment through technology.” Held June 20-22, the events included workshops, an “unconference” (where sessions are led by conference attendees), and a hackathon, a contest for teams of civic hackers to develop software or other technology-driven solutions to the city’s challenges.

The departments’ new datasets were all environmentally-themed. City departments worked hard to release data for EcoCamp. Mining, scrubbing, and releasing data for public consumption are tedious tasks but these efforts are important. Not only does releasing data work…

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MOTUnes Monday | My White Bicycle

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities showcases a song related to transportation, energy, or sustainability. This week, we’re riding along with Nazareth.

MOTUnes Monday | Sea Cruise

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities showcases a song related to transportation, energy, or sustainability. This week, we’re taking a sea cruise with Frankie Ford!

Tidbit Tuesday | SEPTA Daily Ridership

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week, we looked at the most recent transit ridership data published by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) this spring. The graph below illustrates SEPTA’s daily average weekly ridership by mode. Buses, with over a hundred routes across Philadelphia, constitute the majority of transit mode share. The two subway routes — the Market-Frankford Line (MFL) and Broad Street Line (BSL) — account for one-third of total daily ridership.

Let’s take a look at routes and ridership spatially. The city’s trolley lines and some bus routes, such as Route 23 and Route 47, have very high ridership and are depicted with thicker lines in the third map. The two subway lines, which have an average daily ridership of 320,000, are similarly prominent. The Market-Frankford Line has the highest ridership per day of any route in the city, with almost ten times as many daily riders as Route 23 bus, which has the third highest ridership (after the Broad Street Line).  Not surprisingly, these high volume routes correspond spatially to the SEPTA routes that provide 24 hour service, shown in the middle below.

More SEPTA route statistics can be found here.

MOTUnes Monday | Homeward Bound

Every Monday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities showcases a song related to transportation, energy, or sustainability. This week, we’re accompanying Simon & Garfunkel for a train ride home.

Tidbit Tuesday | Green Buildings in Philadelphia

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

How can we produce less waste, conserve energy, and minimize our carbon footprint? One way to do this is by constructing “green” buildings, such as those that meet LEED standards. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, was established by the US Green Building Council in 1998. Buildings earn LEED certification by demonstrating that they are constructed using responsibly-sourced materials and practices and that they are maintained and operated in a resource-conscious way.  Some strategies for achieving LEED certification, available in grades from certified to, silver, bronze, gold, and platinum, include using recycled building materials, installing green roofs, using efficient shading devices on windows, and incorporating efficient plumbing fixtures which use less water.

Today, we are taking a look at the number of LEED Certified buildings in Philadelphia, using data from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The graph below shows that the number of green buildings has been steadily increasing in Philadelphia since 2005. A zoning code adopted in August 2012 further encourages the construction of green buildings by offering density bonuses for projects that meet LEED Gold or Platinum standards.

Leed Certified Bldgs Philadelphia-01

The second chart shows how Philadelphia compares to the most populous cities in the United States. What do you think of these results?

Leed Certified Bldgs Philadelphia-02

More information on LEED Certified projects across the country can be found here.

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