It’s all about DATA

If you want to consume in an eco-friendly way you want to know how stuff you buy is made, where it comes from and what it contains. If you want to live in an eco-friendly way you need to know what the impact of your?behaviour?is. If society wants to build eco-friendly cities you?need to know the impact of design decisions.
But do you get the right information if you are standing in your supermarket? Do you really know the fish is eco-sound? Do you have the needed information concerning your energy and water consumption if you want to live sustainable? Do we have the proper information to design eco-friendly cities? I don?t think so. We still lack important data in our lives!
In his great book ?Ecological Intelligence?, Daniel Goleman explains how this could work. If we lack the proper DATA we are not able to change our behaviour and invest effectively in the good direction. Goleman states that business and governments need to give full and honest information so they and the citizens are able to make decisions for the better. Goleman calls it RADICAL TRANSPARENCY!
By radical transparency, industry and trade will be able to change the supply chain of stuff. By radical transparency governments and business are able know the impact of changing energy systems and build the eco-friendly cities we are striving for. Transparency is of key importance and related DATA needs to be unleashed.
In the TRANSFORM project, DATA is one of the most important aspects.
Amsterdam, one of the TRANSFORM cities, was able and maybe lucky to get a hold on all energy related data and connected it to the map of the city: The Energy Atlas was born. A lot of hurdles needed to be taken to reach this goal the other TRANSFORM cities struggled with this at the same time. It is not easy but time will show that this will be possible for all TRANSFORM cities.
But DATA alone is not enough. The big question is: now what?
This is why TRANSFORM also has built a ?Decision Support Tool?. It works by using the massive energy DATA combined in the Atlas. With the tool the gathered DATA comes to life and cities can run energy scenarios for future city design and (re)development. The tool is able to support city’s design-decisions and the tool is also extremely helpful in the dialogue of cities with all involved stakeholders like business and citizens. If we are able to free the data and start acting transparently we are able to build the needed systems towards low carbon of non-carbon cities. I hope this book will support the discussion about open DATA and the need to be transparent about it.

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