Research Rest Stop │What is the Resource Intensity of Your Neighborhood?

 Every Wednesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities highlights some new and interesting research in the fields of transportation, sustainability, or energy.


Researchers at the Technical University of Lisbon and MIT have developed UrbMet, an interactive map that examines the levels of electricity and material resources used in specific neighborhoods.  

An Energy Use Map from UrbMet

The data can be conveyed by energy consumption per household for a neighborhood, or energy consumption per person for that neighborhood.  This is an important distinction which can show how efficient buildings are in the neighborhood or how efficient the residents are of that neighborhood. 

For instance, there is a higher amount of electricity used in Center City compared with West Philadelphia; however the population density in Center City is much higher, so the buildings are actually more efficient.  Finally, once a map is created, a report can be generated which shows a summary of the data, which can used to compare with other neighborhoods, or other cities.

The UrbMet tool is helpful to spread awareness about a city’s resource consumption.  This is turn can help us become as efficient as possible. 

How does Center City compare with Northern Liberties, or University City?  How does Philadelphia compare with Chicago? 

Check out UrbMet to find out.


Also, The Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities wishes you a happy and safe Fourth of July.


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